By Tichaona Chifamba HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s recent trip to the
World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, has been widely hailed as a
great success with Zimbabwe sloughing off the pariah state tag and assuming that
of a state undergoing rebirth and full of opportunities.
attended the 48th edition of the WEF from Jan. 23 to 26 and met
several high profile leaders in finance, business and politics and the European
a lot of international goodwill was created by the trip, the first by a
Zimbabwean head of state, amid high expectations that the country could return
to its former glory days as the “jewel of Africa.”
Zimbabwe political science professor Charity Manyeruke said the immediate
success of the Davos trip had to do with the country’s image in terms of its
willingness to reengage with the international community.
invitation for Mnangagwa to attend the forum had shown international interest in
Zimbabwe and was also a confirmation that the country was part of the
international community, she added.
engagements with international institutions such as the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that Zimbabwe wanted to be part of the
global economic community.
held discussions with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and World Bank
chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva, following which the IMF issued a
statement, saying that it welcomed his commitment to stabilize the economy.
also sending a message of opening up to the international community and he has
boosted investor confidence by saying that foreign investments will be
protected. So therefore it makes Zimbabwe an important investment destination,”
also met African Development Bank president Akunumwi Adesina who said he had
commended him for the reforms he had already put in place.
Herald newspaper reported that a high-level delegation would travel to Harare,
capital of Zimbabwe soon for talks with the government, with the resolution of
Zimbabwe’s external debt arrears among the issues to be discussed.
added that Mnangagwa’s assurances on governance issues and the fight against
corruption were also important in boosting the confidence of the international
community, since under former President Robert Mugabe’s government many cases
involving corruption had been ignored.
announcement that elections would be held this year and that the international
community would be allowed to observe them also gave confidence that the
government was intent on improving governance.
former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Luckson Zembe said
Mnangagwa had scored points on a number of issues.
presence itself of the President created an opportunity to present the
Zimbabwean story and re-engage with the international community. Meetings with
other leaders were also positive and now we have the United Kingdom responding
positively and sending the prime minister’s representative to come and engage
with Zimbabwe,” he said.
said on Tuesday that he expected to meet Prime Minister Theresa May’s special
envoy during the first week of February to discuss matters of mutual interest,
including the economy and Zimbabwe’s possible return to the Commonwealth which
it left in 2003 over sharp differences involving land.
acknowledged the European Union’s interest in supporting Zimbabwe and trying to
resolve all outstanding issues.
intentions of the Zimbabwean government were well marketed. What is now key is
implementation and putting in policies and follow-ups that buttress those
intentions. Can we now see real issues on the ground in terms of policies.
“Once we have
appropriate policies implemented and impediments removed then we will move from
intentions to action. He has sold the country very well but we must move from
the international community saying ‘this sounds good’ to saying ‘this is good’,”
He added that
the holding of free and fair elections would go a long way in assuring the
international community that the country was serious about good governance and
commentator Tichaona Muchapera said Zimbabwe was back on the mainstream
narrative not as a pariah state but a state under rebirth as shown by
Mnangagwa’s meetings with global leaders.
He added that
Mnangagwa had “brought a bag of hope, but empty on detail, time frame and
implementation,” although he managed to reconnect with the global power players.
appearance on CNN, BBC, online and other outlets as platforms of re-engagement
was a publicity coup and created international goodwill, but that goodwill has
to be reciprocated by real reforms,” Muchapera said.
trip, which was Mnangagwa’s first outside Africa since taking over from Mugabe
in Nov. 2017, has raised expectations among Zimbabweans that the warmth that
surrounded him among global leaders will translate into substantive action and
spur economic growth.
about the trip on social media, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was once again being
regarded as a member of the international community.
He said he
was received with warmth and excitement by leaders from across the globe, a real
sign that Zimbabwe’s isolation from the family of international nations was
we are a respected country, and global investors are genuinely curious about
opportunities in the new Zimbabwe. Make no mistake—the interest in investment
opportunities is exploding.
message to global leaders was simple: Zimbabwe is open for business. I set out
my vision of a Zimbabwe with a thriving and open economy, with jobs for its
youth and opportunities for investors,” Mnangagwa said on his Facebook page.
IMF says to resume lending to Zimbabwe
it clears debt with other multilateral creditors
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Friday it will only
start lending to Zimbabwe once it clears its arrears to other multilateral
creditors which include the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
It however, called for concerted international effort coupled with robust
local economic reforms to revive and re-integrate Zimbabwe into the global
While noting that the IMF and Zimbabwe’s ties had been evolving in a positive
way for some months now, the multilateral creditor insisted that Zimbabwe will
need to clear its debt to other international financiers first before it can
"We have normalized our relationship in terms of their arrears to the IMF,
but they still have a significant debt overhang problem with other international
financial institutions and other official creditors.
"So it’s an issue that has to be addressed.
"There has to be an arrears clearance process and a clear strategy for
clearing those arrears with other creditors and that also has to be factored in
to their ability, their sustainability over time," said William Murray, an
official with the IMF communications department.
Zimbabwe owes the World Bank 1.15 billion U.S. dollars, 601 million dollars
to the African Development Bank and over 3 billion dollars the Paris Club, among
The debt ridden country in 2016 cleared its 108 million U.S. dollars arrears
to the IMF.
It has not been receiving concessionary loans from the multilateral financial
institution since 2001 when it started defaulting.
Murray said Zimbabwe’s economy faces severe challenges including an
unsustainable fiscal deficit which has led to severe liquidity shortages,
created inflationary pressures, and threatened the viability of the financial
sector and Zimbabwe’s exchange rate regime.
The Zimbabwean economy has suffered years of international isolation after
the West imposed sanctions on the country at the turn of the millennium.
But with the advent of a new administration led by President Emerson
Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe has begun taking steps to re-integrate with the global
Last month, President Mnangagwa became the first President from Zimbabwe to
attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where he met several
global business leaders including IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.
Murray said restoring growth in Zimbabwe will require concerted efforts to
tackle the fiscal deficit including through rationalizing and better targeting
the expense of agricultural support programs.
These efforts should be complemented by structural reforms to strengthen the
role of the private sector by improving the business climate and reducing policy
uncertainty, he said.
provides 17 mln USD to strengthen Zimbabwe’s judiciary system
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The European Union (EU) has provided 17 million U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe to help
strengthen the country’s judiciary system and rule of law.
assistance comes after the EU recently pledged to support Zimbabwe’s new
administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa after years of frosty ties.
will go to various stakeholders in the justice sector that include the Judicial
Service Commission, Law Society of Zimbabwe, Legal Resources Foundation, the
Ministry of Justice and the Chief’s Council.
we launch today are starting at an opportune time. The ongoing political
transition presents a hopefully favorable environment for intensifying justice
sector reforms,” the EU’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Phillipe Van Damme was quoted
as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper on Wednesday.
statement at the end of its Council meeting in Brussels last week, the EU
reiterated its commitment to engaging constructively with the new Zimbabwe
welcomed the stated intention of the Zimbabwean authorities to deliver economic
reforms aimed at supporting job creation, growth and sustainable long-term
stands ready to review the whole range of its policies towards Zimbabwe at any
moment to take into account the progress achieved in the country.
context, the EU will support the authorities in establishing as soon as possible
a constructive re-engagement with international financial institutions based on
a clear and time-bound economic and political reform program.” the EU said.