ZIMBABWE has entered into a repayment plan with creditors as it moves to settle the US$6,1 billion external debt, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
The country desperately needs lines of credit from multilateral institutions to help rebuild the economy.
“We entered into a payment plan with the Bretton Woods Institute and so far we have been fulfilling that. It’s a token payment as you will appreciate,” Chinamasa said.
Chinamasa said token payments are a commitment that the country is ready to resolve its external debt situation.
Zimbabwe owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) US$124 million, African Development Bank (AfDB) about US$800 million (of which US$528 million is in arrears) and US$1,4 billion to the World Bank.
In its annual Article IV consultation report, IMF urged Zimbabwe to engage with its creditors to work towards a solution to the long-standing debt arrears problem.
Chinamasa said he told the IMF team on a recent visit to Zimbabwe that the country needed a constructive engagement.
“I want us to have a relationship which emphasises the fact of our membership in the IMF,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s relations with IMF have improved, evidenced by the global lender agreeing to a supervised economic reform programme. The programme is ending in June.
Last year, the World Bank crafted a three-year strategy for Zimbabwe focusing on fostering private sector-led growth, creation of an enabling environment and reducing societal vulnerabilities.
The programme runs up to next year.
AfDB has been availing funds to Zimbabwe indirectly through the African Export-Import Bank and PTA where it is shareholding.
In 2011, AfDB announced that it was giving a fish project in Kariba, Lake Harvest, US$11 million, the banking group’s first private sector investment in years.