Zimbabwean Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube, has revealed that he has a plan to turn the country’s ailing economy around by striking a deal with foreign debtors, issuing government bonds with a 30-year maturity life span, and privatising parastatals. Moreover, Ncube said he could accomplish this by 2020.
The plan is mainly contingent on instituting the kind of policy changes that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would like to see so Zimbabwe can borrow from the likes of the World Bank to start paying off debt of $9 billion which has irritated international lenders for the last two decades.
But whereas Ncube is convinced it’s doable, adding that a Monetary Policy Committee will be formed within a month to ring in the necessary policy changes as required by the IMF, the fund’s president remains unconvinced.
In reply to what Ncube said during the interview, Patrick Imam said “conditions are not yet in place to provide financial support for Zimbabwe”.
The country, whose inflation has gone up 176% since Ncube banned the US dollar and reintroduced Zim’s own version of the dollar, “needs to build a track record to prove that it can implement reforms to tackle deep-rooted problems, as the hurdle rate for a financially supported programme is high”.
Ncube though is not flummoxed by the prospect of chasing near insurmountable steeples.
*Into SA:* “You go, Minister, only action will sanction success … or failure, but as ambitious as your plan is, you have clearly run out of options. Into SA will continue to support your course!