Chinamasa set for Washington

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa will next week travel to Washington, United States, to attend the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings.

The Treasury chief — struggling to secure bailout packages and budgetary support — said he would use the platform to lure investors into investment-starved Zimbabwe. He acknowledged that foreign investors were critical for economic development.

“The idea is that we lure investors into this economy,” Chinamasa said at the Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited and ABC Holdings press conference, adding that “what we (Zimbabwe) need basically is a large volume of money being lent to the productive sectors such as agriculture, mining, industry, manufacturing and tourism.”

Last October, Chinamasa returned empty-handed from Washington after the IMF and the World Bank refused to advance further financial support to the country.

According to IMF, Zimbabwe’s external debt reached $12,5 billion in 2012 with nearly half of the obligations in arrears.

In June last year, the organisation re-engaged with the country for the first time in more than a decade, but ruled out new cash advances.

Instead, it recommended a Staff Monitoring Programme (SMP) for the country adding its successful implementation “would be an important stepping stone toward helping Zimbabwe re-engage with the international community.”

“We still owe them money, and because of that they have put us under the Staff Monitoring Programme and they will not be giving us fresh money or new concessionary loans until we complete that programme,” Chinamasa said following his October IMF visit.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe could for the second time miss the SMP targets due to deteriorating economic conditions in the country.

Under the programme, the country is required to enforce sound economic policies including improving diamond revenue transparency, reduce financial sector vulnerabilities and restructure the central bank, among other demands.

In January, IMF approved a six-month extension of the SMP to June to give the President Robert Mugabe-led administration time to deliver on outstanding commitments.

Chinamasa has said government is facing mounting economic challenges thereby affecting its ability to meet the Bretton Woods institution’s targets within the deadline.

“It’s clear at this stage, to everybody’s knowledge, that we have not been able to address some of the issues we discussed last year such as employment costs as a proportion of the budget,” he said.

“And I have told them (an IMF team recently in Zimbabwe) that with respect to employment costs we cannot address those in the short to medium term. They require a longer process,” Chinamasa said, adding that the issues could not be addressed overnight.

He said he was not willing to cut government expenditure through the retrenchment of civil servants.

“We are hoping to address employment costs in the long term through creating growth in the economy, increasing the revenue base and increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) so that employment costs can take their appropriate portion within a bigger cake.”

Comments (14)

the finance boss thinks he can bring home anything for us? Knowing their rotten foreign policy, and their barbaric primitive domestic domestic policy, who would listern to them? Chitororo takaita zvakapera ngatichiita zvaveko nhasi. Change your methods of operation!!!!

herber - 4 April 2014

Arikuenda kundotsvageiko murume uyu ku Washington achirega kuenda ku Guangzhou kana Beijing? pane vari mu civil service vakapinzwa na Kasukuwere varikutambira mari vakagara kumba Patrick ivavo bvisa pa pay roll kani.

Maita Manyuka - 4 April 2014

These are the problems that you have Cde Chinamasa when you go to Washington: 1) Legitimacy- even a 5 year old knows that you did not win the 2013 elections 2) Primitive Politics- in Sep every year your commander in chief goes to the same town and says voetsek to the imprialists but a few months later you go back with a begging bowl; they have a good memory. 3) Corruption- the IMF will not trust you with cash until you deal decisevely with corruption 4) Rule of Law- your govt applies the law selectively which is a clear indication the judiciary has been severely compromised. We wish you all the luck but the best you will bring back is a pair of Armani pants and maybe a bottle of whisky for your comrades.

Zvichapera - 4 April 2014

he will come back emputi hendedhi as uzhau.

sinyorita - 4 April 2014

It is a pitty that you are going to washington once again to beg and come with nothing. with all the rot that surrounds your govt, you will be fortunate to come out with something. who on this planet doesn't know what has been taking place here. rampant corruption, diamond proceeds, and a lot of other things need to be addressed b4 you think of getting assistance from IMF

kt - 4 April 2014

Look East policy?

Regalia - 4 April 2014

Kana maputi hamupiwi kwamurikuenda kuenda regedzai zvenyu its a waste of tax payers money case of the chickens coming home to roost

protestor - 4 April 2014

the problem is not on chinamasa aaaaah Mugabe ndiye awora ngabve is a monster to our success ... generation yedu will never ever be better with Mugabe

trasmie - 4 April 2014

“We still owe them money, and because of that they have put us under the Staff Monitoring Programme and they will not be giving us fresh money or new concessionary loans until we complete that programme,” Chinamasa said following his October IMF visit. So now you agree the reason they refuse to inject money is not because of sanctions but rather your poor credit record. Only a fool will sink in more money to a sinking ship. If you meet your obligations many will extend facilities to you or even if you dont meet them but have a clear path that is sound to repay they can always make exceptions. You guys take loans instead of investing in the productive sector and generating economic wealth you import expensive top of the range European cars (German to be precise), what is left you globe trott, and if there is change you buy more bullets from china and recruit more border gezi youths. Talk about inverted priorities

Lt General - 4 April 2014

Chinamasa is going to do the shopping that he couldnt do in Belgium since the old big baby threw his toys out of the pram. He will be best advised not to go to Washington and save on air tickets, hotels etc. The Quality investor will not come but instead he will attract the opportunist investor who will be there to profiteer and leave the country worse off.

Lt General - 4 April 2014

do you still remember you chinamasa saying biti is the one who is refusing with cash manje vamugabe vakakugona produce the money

ligas - 4 April 2014

Foreing investors? Whatever for? ZANU PF has "successfully" "empowered" "its" people. What do you want foreigners for? Zimbabwe will never be a suceessful colony again.

joseph - 5 April 2014

Chinamasa, I know you are not an intelligent man but I think you can explain this: your government wants foreign investment so that it can grab 51% and share it amongst themselves in the name of indeginisation. And Mliswa will also obviously demand 10% from "these whites". Can you explain what kind of investor can listen to you? Don't behave like a fool, even if you one.

Leximus - 6 April 2014

Lure investors so youcan grab 51% of their investment? Those investors would need to be deep deep deep into their slumber to accept such conditions! You can try it and see if it works. So far the Chinese have refuse to buy such hogwash. I wonder if there is any normal investor who would buy this direct loss!

Chemutengure vhiri rengoro - 7 April 2014

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