THE Zimbabwe government is planning to block an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV consultation mission to Zimbabwe scheduled for September aft
er failing to reclaim its membership of the Bretton Woods institution, the Zimbabwe Independent established this week.
The move comes as reports swirled in the market that the country was about to consummate multi-billion dollar deals with Chinese and Russian investors. The deals could result in the injection of at least US$1 billion, three months’ worth of import cover in an economy scraping for foreign currency, before the end of the year.
Details of the deals were not immediately available at the time of going to press, but sources indicated they involved Chinese and Russian firms prepared to pour large amounts into greenfield mining projects.
Nor was information available on how the government would resolve its cat-and-mouse relationship with the IMF.
An indignant letter has been sent to Washington, the Independent understands, demanding an explanation. To date no reply has been received.
Sources indicated that ministers were fuming over failure by the IMF to restore Zimbabwe’s membership after the country cleared arrears to the IMF’s General Resources Account (GRA) in February.
Zimbabwe cleared its overdue financial obligations to the GRA but still has substantial arrears amounting to US$119 million under a separate facility.
While the clearance of its arrears under the GRA removed the basis for its compulsory withdrawal from the fund, the country remained suspended from exercising its voting rights as a member of the Bretton Woods institution.
There was speculation in the market that Zimbabwe’s intention was to forestall pending measures against the country regarding remaining arrears.