Zimbabwe: IMF Team Expected Next Week

A DELEGATION from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected in the country next week to monitor Zimbabwe's progress on the Staff Monitoring Programme (SMP).

World Bank senior country economist Nadia Piffaretti yesterday said the team would be in Harare on Wednesday for consultations on the programme.

The SMP was approved by the IMF management in June 2013 for the period April-December 2013 during the life of the inclusive government when Tendai Biti was finance minister. After the general elections controversially won by Zanu PF in July last year, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa asked for an extension of the programme.

The SMP is an informal arrangement between a government and the IMF to monitor the implementation of the government's economic programmes.

"At the authorities' request, IMF management has approved a six-month extension of Zimbabwe's Staff Monitoring Programme to allow time for the national authorities to strengthen their policies and deliver on outstanding commitments under the programme," said the IMF earlier this year.

It added that the IMF would visit this month "to assess performance, combining the first and second reviews under the SMP".

The IMF said during this visit "the targets for a third review with an assessment date end-June 2014 will be set".

Zimbabwe has been working on a re-engagement programme of building bridges with international financial institutions, to help breathe life into the economy battered by a debilitating liquidity crunch.

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