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IMF to send team to Zimbabwe

The International Monetary Fund will soon send a staff mission to Zimbabwe to meet with officials of the new government and assess the country’s fiscal and economic situation.

Zimbabwe has a new president in Emmerson Mnangagwa who has promised to tackle corruption that had become endemic under former president Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

Mnangagwa has re-appointed Patrick Chinamasa, who has been negotiating with the IMF,  as Finance minister.

Chinamasa was sacked as Finance Minister in October in Robert Mugabe’s last cabinet reshuffle and was appointed Minister of Cyber Security, which has been abolished.

Mnangagwa also announced a three month amnesty for return of funds and assets he says were illegally moved out of the country by individuals and companies.

Reports today said as much as $3 billion, almost equal to the revenue the government gets,  was externalised.

IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said the visit, expected early this month “will update our assessment of Zimbabwe’s fiscal position, foreign exchange developments and inquire about the new administration’s economic plans”.

Zimbabwe, which owes arrears of around $1.8 billion to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, has not been able to borrow from international lenders since 1999, when it started defaulting on its debt.

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom foreign secretary, Boris Johnson said Britain could extend financial support to Zimbabwe to help stabilise its economy and clear its debts with international lenders but such support will be linked to ‘democratic progress.- The Source/Own

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