The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe is not yet qualify for financial bailouts even after clearing its debts to the global financial institution in 2016.
In a report that recognised progress towards rebuilding Zimbabwe’s ailing economy, IMF warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa of lingering headwinds, saying the southern African country’s debt distress was a source of worry.
It called on Mnangagwa’s administration to take steps to cool off jitters stem-ming from the volatile currency and work towards a string of reforms necessary to attract foreign direct investment. Zimbabwe’s external debt was estimated at about US$8 billion at the end of 2020, with the country owing several international financial institutions including the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Paris Club.
The IMF comments followed a virtual Article IV consultative meeting between Harare and the fund. The IMF team was led by Dhaneshwar Ghura. It conducted meetings with Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya and other senior government officials.
“Zimbabwe has been a fund member in good standing since it cleared its out-standing arrears to IMF in late 2016,” Ghura said in a statement.
“The fund provides extensive technical assistance in the areas of economic governance and financial sector reforms as well as macroeconomic statistics. However, the IMF is precluded from providing financial support to Zimbabwe due to an unsustainable debt and official external arrears,” the IMF noted.