Strive for peace, unity: IMF

Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on local political players to observe peace at all times to ensure economic growth, which is primed to surge by 3,1 percent, driven by a raft of positive measures announced by Government recently.

This was said last week by IMF director of communications Gerry Rice during a press conference in response to a question that sought to understand the global lender’s perspectives on Zimbabwe.

The question arose after opposition supporters and civil society activists went on a rampage and unleashed an orgy of violence that left some people dead and others injured.

Public and private property was also destroyed in the chaos while several businesses, particularly in Bulawayo, were looted by the marauding ruffians.

Some of the looters have since been given lengthy jail terms while others are on remand over various charges.

Mr Rice said it was critical for political players to seek peaceful resolutions to challenges, and work together towards transforming the economy.

“So in answer to that, I would say that of course Zimbabwe is facing major challenges and just in terms of the unrest, we encourage all stakeholders to collaborate peacefully in developing and implementing policies that will stabilise the economy and promote sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Mr Rice.

Upon arrival on Monday from Eurasia where he toured Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan on State visits, President Mnangagwa said it was critical for political players to engage in dialogue.

“I invite leaders of all political parties as well as religious and civil leaders to set aside our differences and come together.

“What unites us is stronger that what could ever divide us. Let’s begin a national dialogue. Let’s put the economy first. Let’s put the people first,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President wants to transform the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030, with a per capita GDP of $3 500 and decent jobs for citizens.

Despite the opposition-induced violence of last week, the IMF remains positive that the policies announced by Government are “in the right direction”.

“I said here the last time that the authority’s economic policies, we felt were headed in the right direction broadly in terms of addressing the fiscal deficit and monetary policy and so on,” said Mr Rice.

He added that the IMF would be in a position to extend financial support to Harare once it settles arrears with other multilateral creditors such as the World Bank and the Paris Club.

Zimbabwe has cleared IMF’s $108 million arrears but its rules preclude lending to a country that is still in or under arrears to other international financial   situations.

Source : The Herald

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