ZIMBABWE has missed out on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Covid-19 grant given to the organisation’s “poorest and most vulnerable” members, and MDC Alliance Vice President Tendai Biti says this happened because of Zimbabwe’s history of “stealing elections” and harbouring corrupt cartels.
Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, said in a statement said that the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) is “to cover their [poor members’] IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts”.
But Biti, the former finance minister in the inclusive government of 2009 to 2013, is of the view that Zimbabwe was left out because of its poor human rights record.
Said the Harare East legislator: “20 African countries obtain debt relief and Zimbabwe is conspicuously absent. The reason is political illegitimacy, fascism and disrespect of the rule of law.
“Reason is corruption and rent seeking behavior, cartels and #SakundaRepublic. Reason is failure to reform and stealing elections.”
The MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa insists that he won the 2018 presidential elections but the elections management body collided with the Zanu-PF leadership to rig him of victory. This is despite that his election petition was dismissed by a full Constitutional Court bench for lack of evidence.
However, Dr. Qhubani Moyo, a Commissioner with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), explained the circumstances.
“This is not a donation by IMF to some countries, this is a debt relief to some selected countries that owe IMF.
“Zimbawe has paid off its debts to IMF & as such does not qualify for debt relief when it does not owe. IMF however has hinted at finding some ways of ensuring that as a paid up member state in economic distress it may look at ways of supporting Zimbabwe one way or the other,” said Dr. Moyo.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, yesterday said Zimbabwe did not expect to benefit from the money because it does not fall under countries to receive debt relief.
“Zimbabwe does not owe money to the IMF as we paid off loans with the world body.
“THE SUPPORT WAS MAINLY FOR COUNTRIES THAT OWE THE IMF AND ARE RECEIVING RELIEF ON PAYMENTS TO THE BODY IN ORDER TO SUPPORT THE COVID-19 RESPONSE,” SAID PROF NCUBE.
The countries that will receive debt service relief are Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, DRC, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
According to IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva, the relief applies to member countries affected by the global pandemic, but critically, those that owe the Bretton Woods institution and whose obligations fall due in the next two months, so they can direct their scarce resources to the deadly health emergency and economic recovery programmes.
International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva
Declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a global emergence, Covid-19 has killed tens of thousands across the world and infected over a million others.
Zimbabwe has recorded 18 cases of the coronavirus, including three deaths. One person has since recovered from the coronavirus in Zimbabwe, according to the latest update from the Ministry of Health and Child Care released Tuesday evening.
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– Zimbabwe Voice