By Darlyn Murambgi
Harare, May 09, 2016 – FINANCE Minister Patrick Chinamasa has allayed fears the United States of America’s hostile stance towards Zimbabwe could come in to block the troubled country’s current efforts to unlock fresh funding from the IMF.
Chinamasa was speaking in parliament last week while responding to a question by Bikita West MP, Munyaradzi Kereke who wanted to know if the controversial Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZDERA) would not scuttle the process.
Zimbabwe is currently toiling to impress the IMF and some of the country’s international lenders through part payments of its outstanding debts.
The country has received assurances from the IMF it could qualify for fresh funding if it complies with requirement set out by the international institution’s staff monitored programme.
Chinamasa, who as finance minister has spearheaded the reform process, has expressed optimism the country could finally start receiving fresh IMF loans.
However, the US law which has blocked trade lines between Zimbabwean and American institutions, was cited by Kereke as a potential landmine in the country’s efforts to access the funds.
Chinamasa was quick to indicate the US was not going to torpedo the process.
“…The United States, whilst being the biggest shareholder, has no right of veto,” Chinamasa said.
“It has not right of veto to any decisions that the board may want to take on any of these. So, its influence is through moral suasion.
“So, we are trying our best to talk to those who are supporting us who are friends of the United States, so that they can be more supportive.”
The finance minister said Zimbabwe was trying to mend its long broken relations with the super power, which broke at the turn of the century when the current Robert Mugabe led regime was accused of rights abuses and poll theft, among a slew of offences.
“Normalisation with the United States of America remains a problem and it is problematic, that I must admit,” Chinamasa said.
“But we continue to engage them, almost every time we go to these meetings, we have been engaging the State Department and United States Treasury. Not only about seeking their support for our debt clearance strategy but also appealing to them to lift the sanctions.
“Just before I went to the annual meetings, the United States slapped sanctions on our fertilizer companies, which basically is a direct attack on our agriculture. So, I recognise it is a problem but certainly we will do whatever is in our power to find ways around it.”