Zim finalises IMF programme

HARARE - Zimbabwe has embarked on a third and final phase of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Staff Monitored Programme (SMP).

The country met quantitative targets and structural benchmarks set under the programme’s second stage, which ended in June.

The final phase, 15 months long, began this October .

Samuel Undenge, deputy Finance minister, on Thursday said authorities successfully negotiated for a third round of the SMP.

Zimbabwe, currently seeking a bail out from the IMF among other international financiers, is implementing the programme under which it is required to enforce sound economic policies.

Under the SMP, government is compelled to increase diamond revenue transparency, reduce financial sector vulnerabilities, implement debt reduction strategies and restructure the central bank, among other demands.

“Government is committed to the full implementation of all aspects under the successor staff monitored programme,” Undenge said at an IMF regional economic outlook workshop.

“It is our hope as a country that such efforts should eventually culminate into the resolution of our debt situation and hence normalisation of our relations with international financial institutions and all our creditors,” he said.

Market experts say a successful implementation of the SMP would be a major step for Zimbabwe towards re-engagement with the international community.

The country lost its IMF voting rights in 2003 after defaulting on loan repayments.

The country’s total debt stock, stifling new funding and investment to revive the faltering economy, currently stands at about $9,9 billion.

Undenge said the final SMP will focus on consolidating the country’s fiscal position and mobilising external support, among other things.


 

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