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International lenders warming up to Zimbabwe


According to the Africa report, Zimbabwe's Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa claims multi-lateral lenders have warmed up to the country's economic reform strategies, although the southern African country will have to wait for the bodies' annual spring meetings before it knows whether it will get concessionary loans.

Zimbabwe is desperate for new lending for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and has literally bent over backwards in an effort to please those institutions in the hope of earning new credit lines.Zimbabwe will work feverishly to come up with a new country financing programme.

Chinamasa told reporters he was optimistic an IMF executive board meeting on May 2 would accept Zimbabwe's plan to pay $110 million in arrears to the fund. Another $1.7 billion would then be paid to the African Development Bank and World Bank."Between September and November, Zimbabwe will work feverishly to come up with a new country financing programme, on the basis of which, we hope, if we clear our arrears, we should get new financing," Chinamasa said.

"We are going to put together the necessary documentation for us to be able to get to a position where the respective boards of the three multilateral institutions can sit down, hopefully around September to November, to adopt and accept our strategy for arrears clearance."Chinamasa said the expected capital injection would be channelled towards agriculture, private sector growth, and parastatal reform.

Zimbabwe has just completed a voluntary 15-month IMF Staff Monitored Programme to December last year, where the Bretton Woods institution wanted to see set targets in economic management met.The arrears clearance plan was presented to creditors during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in the Peruvian capital, Lima last October.

If Zimbabwe manages to clear its arrears, it would get fresh capital as well as benefit from medium-term plan that would run for three years.