Zim Bemoans World Bank, IFC Snub

Zimbabwe says there is no justification in the continued isolation of the local private sector by the World Bank’s affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as the local industry has been honouring its US$1,9 billion obligations.

Finance and Economic Development Minister,  Patrick Chinamasa told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to influence the IFC to support the local private sector to stimulate economic activities, broaden revenue base and to create the capacity for the repayment of the country’s obligations. 

Chinamasa, who was one of the keynote speakers during the Rebuilding of the Zimbabwe-IMF Relations breakfast meeting, said given the fact that the local private sector is servicing its US$1,9 billion debt, there is no need for the IFC to stop its support. 

“The private sector’s US$1,9 billion debt is being serviced as we speak. So what is stopping the IFC from aiding our private sector,” said  Chinamasa. 

Minister Chinamasa questioned whether the isolation of the private sector, which is not on the sanctions, was a punitive measure by the Bretton Woods institutions. 

Of the country’s US$8,8 billion debt, the private sector obligation is US$1,9 billion while government’s debt is US$6,9 billion. 

IMF representative, Domenico Fanizza, who is leading the multilateral financial institution’s review mission team, said the global lender only lends to government while the IFC is mandated to deal with the private sector. 

“We are mandated to lend to government in particular central banks. Supporting of the private sector is the mandate of the IFC,” said Fanizza.

Private sector representatives, who graced the meeting, stressed the need for the recapitalisation of the local industry for economic activities in the country. 

Zimbabwe said it remains committed to the IMF Staff Monitored Programme and is currently working on meeting the set targets under the arrangements including building the country’s reserves.