Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube says the staff monitored programme which it has agreed with the International Monetary Fund has opened doors for immediate foreign financial inflows to support Cyclone Idai recovery efforts and will help mobilize a global financial package for arrears clearance, and create a stable currency for Zimbabwe.
Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa whose party has accused the IMF of trying to prop up tyranny said the IMF talks were not enough as Zimbabwe’s problems are deep-seated and require major reforms.
Chamisa told Newsday: “They are bringing artificial answers to the deep-seated problems, they are not attacking the problem, the issue is about consistency of policy, confidence in the market, predictability, dealing with political and economic noise.
“Talking to the IMF is not enough. In fact, we don’t want a talk shop, we don’t want perpetual talking, we want action, we want things that are supposed to be delivered; it doesn’t matter how many times they talk to the IMF, they have been talking to the IMF for the past 20 years, but talking is not what is going to fix Zimbabwe.”
Ncube who launched his transitional stabilisation programme last year, however, remains optimistic and sources within government say a lot of development is taking place but the government is not blowing its trumpet.
Zimbabwe has been cut off from international finance for 20 years and is under European Union and United States sanctions.
Ncube who is grappling with rising inflation which rocketed to 166 percent in March but has been rebased to 67 percent says the country will introduce its own currency within 12 months but has refused to give a specific date because of speculation.
Zimbabwe rebased its inflation calculation from last month after a decade.
Ncube was so optimistic about the agreement with the IMF that he said the RTGS$ will now stabilize and even strengthen.
Ncube also says inflation should be down to single digit levels by year-end, especially from October going forward.
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said her organisation, from which international lenders take cue, will conduct the SMP expeditiously because of the hardships and loss caused by Cyclone Idai.
At least 344 people are said to have been killed by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe with more than 200 still unaccounted for.
“I can assure you that on the principle of social protection of the most vulnerable of inclusion, we will be deploying the principles by which we now operate. As I have announced through the IMF, this morning, social protection framework is going to come up at the board in the next few weeks and we will certainly endeavour to deploy social protection principles in the work that we do with the authorities,” she said.
“The second point that I would like to mention, which I believe can and will help Zimbabwe as well given the current monitoring and currency situation – if used in a smart way, I would hope that financial technologies can be deployed in order to include as many (people) as possible and any best practices we are aware of we will certainly make them available in the course of the weeks to come”.