Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
An International Monetary Fund team arrived in the country yesterday to negotiate a successor Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) and immediately held meetings with the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa, among other senior Government officials.
The IMF will also conduct the third review of the SMP. The team will be in the country until the beginning of October.
“Yes we have the IMF in the country for the next two weeks for the third review of the SMP. They are also here to negotiate a successor SMP,” said Zimbabwe Aid and Debt Management Office head Mr Andrew Bvumbe in an interview with The Herald Business.
Mr Bvumbe said the IMF team yesterday met Minister Chinamasa and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr John Mangudya.
They are scheduled to meet with the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, the Ministries of Mines and Mining Development and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.
The Bretton Woods Institution team will also meet officials from the Chamber of Mines, the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, development partners, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development.
Some of the development partners the IMF will meet include the African Development Bank and the World Bank. Mr Bvumbe said the IMF is pleased with the outcome of the review.
“We are positive of the outcome of the review. We have met all the targets and we remain positive,” said Mr Bvumbe.
Following the conclusion of the first and second SMPs in June, the IMF said Zimbabwe’s performance under the programme had been broadly “satisfactory”.
“The authorities have begun implementing policy measures and a programme of reforms aimed at addressing the fiscal gap that has emerged for 2014; improving the quality of public expenditures; enhancing financial sector stability; and moving forward delayed structural reform measures.
“The authorities have reiterated their continued commitment to the policies agreed under the SMP, and to enhanced engagement with the creditors and the international community,” the IMF said.
The international financier said a successful conclusion of the third review “could pave the way to a successor SMP, which the authorities have indicated they may request, in order to build on their achievements and support a stronger policy framework”.
“IMF staff will remain engaged with the authorities to monitor progress in the implementation of their economic programme, and will continue providing targeted technical assistance in order to support Zimbabwe’s capacity-building efforts and its adjustment and reform programme,” the IMF said.