IMF likely to help Zimbabwe

Moses Mudzwiti

Moses Mudzwiti

Zimbabwe's new unity government has met a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in a bid to normalise relations long-strained over the country's erratic debt repayments.

Economic and Planning Minister Elliot Mangoma said yesterday that he had met with IMF officials and discussed the normalisation of relations.

Zimbabwe needs at least $5billion in the short term to halt its economic meltdown and revive essential services.

Collapsed health and dysfunctional sanitation systems have conspired to cause a devastating cholera outbreak that has already killed more than 4000 Zimbabweans.

Mangoma said the meeting with the IMF was positive and the institution was likely to assist Zimbabwe in the future. The IMF stopped lending money to Zimbabwe more than two years ago.

In the past the IMF has insisted on reduced government expenditure as a precondition for loaning money.

Mangoma, a member of prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, said Zimbabwe had improved its "recording and accounting".

Earlier this year Zimbabwe adopted the use of multiple currencies including the rand, US dollar, euro and pound sterling. The move, which has effectively sealed the demise of the Zimbabwe dollar, led to better financial discipline.

The government can no longer print money to fund its day to day operations.