Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa, Chinamasa Seek to Restore Donor Relations

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  • Vice president met with EU representatives last week
  • Country hopes to be eligible for fresh funding by mid-year

“We are engaging with the EU, and last week Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa met their country representative here, as part of that re-engagement process,” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in an interview Tuesday, declining to provide more details. “We believe that by June this year, we will have fulfilled our obligations and hopefully be eligible for fresh funding.”

The sub-Saharan African nation has struggled to access finance to support its ailing economy since it fell into default to the International Monetary Fund in 1999. Governments, including the U.S. and European Union, imposed sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party.

The country has agreed to pay international lenders such as the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank about $1.8 billion. Chinamasa wants the IMF to agree to resume lending to the economically troubled nation this year.

Zimbabwe, which faces its worst liquidity crisis in at least 35 years, owes multi-lateral banks about $7.1 billion. or 51 percent of GDP, according to a World Bank report released Wednesday. Total debts amount to about $10 billion, according to Chinamasa, who also faces opposition to western re-engagement from within his ruling party.-Bloomberg News