Harare – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made the startling revelation that it is not discussing a funding programme with Zimbabwe.
Speaking at a media briefing, IMF communications department director Gerry Rice said there was “no financing programme being discussed with the country (Zimbabwe) at this point”.
Rice’s revelation is contrary to what the Zimbabwean authorities have been telling anyone who cared to listen.
Just last week, Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country was close to putting the final touches to a debt-arrears package that could see it receive an emergency injection of funds from the IMF and other multilateral institutions.
At an investment conference held in London, Chinamasa said the discourse and dialogue is that alongside clearance, there should be reciprocal commitment from the institutions to provide Zimbabwe new money to support sectors of the economy.
“The discussion we are currently having is that alongside clearing of arrears, we are negotiating for a country financing programme,” Chinamasa said at the time.
The IMF has however distanced itself from such negotiations, saying: “However the authorities have announced a plan to clear their arrears with the Fund and with other international institutions as part of their re-engagement with the international community”.
Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairperson Nigel Chanakira responded on Twitter, saying: “I’m now confused. This can’t be what we want to hear on Zimbabwe.
“News beamed from London last week was that we are on track,” he added.