Zimpundit has posted an article on the IMF and ZImbabwe....here is an excerpt:
....In fact the arrears were not the major issue on the IMF agenda in terms of its relationship with Zimbabwe. What was the real issue was quite simply the failure by the Zimbabwe leadership to get to grips with the problems that had resulted in the almost total isolation of the country diplomatically and the near total collapse of the economy. During successive visits to the country, the IMF team has asked local Zimbabweans "how do you carry on under these circumstances?" They looked at the statistics and were astonished that we were still functioning.
We also wonder how we survive - and obviously this is both an achievement and a failure, because allowing the whole pack of cards to collapse might have brought change sooner than it will do in the near future.
And so we have the specter of the Zanu PF regime contradicting itself with respect to the IMF issue. One minute they do not matter and can "go to hell". The next we are scouring the country for our last remaining sources of foreign exchange to make a meaningless payment to the Fund which will ensure that we are not expelled but are then left with insufficient resources to import essentials like food.
Just speculate with me for a moment on what the Fund might demand in a wish list to the Zimbabwe authorities in order to restore our status as a functioning and welcome member of the Fund. My own list would incorporate the following:
-Zimbabwe must make take steps to end its diplomatic andpolitical isolation and to restore democratic credentials to its government.
-Zimbabwe must respect the rule of law and theindependence of its Judiciary and it must respect the legal rights of itscitizens and investors.
-Zimbabwe must restore freedom of the press and liberalizeits electronic media. It must dispose of its controlling shareholding in theZimbabwe Newspapers Group.
-Zimbabwe must observe all human and political rights asdescribed in the UN Charter and in its supporting agreements to whichZimbabwe is already a signatory.
- Zimbabwe must adopt, without delay, a comprehensivepackage of macro economic reforms designed to unify both exchange rate andinterest rate regimes, to restore fiscal and monetary stability anddiscipline.
-Zimbabwe must implement a wide range of reforms designedto strengthen the private sector and the market mechanism.
-Zimbabwe must give urgent and immediate attention to the humanitarean crisis.It is now too late to rescue the 2005/06 agricultural season and we will have to wait another year before meaningful remedial action can be taken in the farm sector.
The IMF decision keeps the pressure on for reform, it gives South Africa time to exercise its responsibilities in the region and it does not make our situation any worse. I guess that is a lot to achieve under these circumstances. What are the chances of Zimbabwe meeting the IMF on all key issues - zero....