Thursday, September 01, 2005

Trolling different waters

While Mugabe & Co. consolidated their political gains by bulldozing the constitutional amendments, the country's financial policymakers found a way to dispatch a timely 120 million dollar payment to the IMF earlier this week. The payment reduces Zimbabwe debt to the IMF by over a third to 175 million. Harare has been making quarterly payments of 9 million dollars beginning in 2004 after a five year stalemate brought relations between the country and IMF to a icy standstill.

This move, meant to stave off certain explusion from the IMF comes as a surprise especially given the fire and brimstone spewing from the aged leader's mouth about where he thinks the IMF should go. Tarry a while, I will explain this incongruity in a little bit.

First things first. The 120 million dollar question is where did the money came from?

An elusive Gideon Gono (Zimbabwe Reserve Bank Governor) told the Herald,
"This payment has been made following a positive response from some of our exporters and holders of free funds in response to some of the turnaround initiatives that the country is implementing, in particular the favourable exchange rate policies which are now tracking inflation developments since the July 21 monetary policy statement."

Speaking to the Fingaz
, Gono also said the money was all raised from within the country. He said they had to "starve other sections of the economy" to raise the money for the payments. The goal, he said was to prove to the IMF that Zimbabwe is serious about amending it's fragile relationship with the lender.

Zimonline speculates that the money was sourced from Mugabe's Chinese friends.
"Ministry of Finance officials speaking on condition they were not named said the money was provided by China although the official line in Harare was that it was raised locally."
So the mystery looms.

Regardless of the source of funding, it is clear there is an incongruity in Zimbabwe's leadership. Removed from the unilateralist hulabaloo of the politicians, Zimbabwe's macro policymakers are acting on their acute awareness that the country cannot go it alone. Our economic salvation depends on our ability to salvage our remaining relationships with world business leaders. Said Gono,
"To this end, as monetary authorities we have been putting our money where our mouth is in as far as the dignity of our people and the need for us as a country to remain a part of the global village and the international community as represented by the IMF membership."
Let the talkers talk, Zimbabwe economic fate is in responsible hands (not mouths).

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