Former Finance Minister, Tendai Biti has urged International Finance Institutions, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to extend lines of credit to Zimbabwe until a transitional government is established.
The MDC vice president advised Western countries not be fooled by the Zimbabwean government’s cosmetic reforms that are divorced from the rule of law and adoption of democratic tenets.
Writing in the Foreign Policy magazine, Biti argued that Zimbabwe needs help from both international and regional partners to ward off economic collapse. He said:
To attract foreign investment, Zimbabwe needs to show that it respects the rule of law, including by strengthening property rights and guaranteeing that profits can be repatriated outside Zimbabwe.
The current government cannot be trusted to undertake such a programme.
That is because Zanu PF stands to lose from serious reforms since they would inevitably eliminate the party’s traditional sources of finance, patronage and control.
A transitional government arrangement, akin to the unity government of 2009–13, has to lead the reform effort.
To bring one about, the IMF and other major multilateral organisations should offer Zanu PF incentives to come to the negotiating table — not reward it prematurely as the IMF did with the staff-monitored programme.
Zimbabwe needs help from its international partners, as well as from neighbouring countries and regional blocs, to stave off total economic collapse.
First, however, it needs to get its politics right.
Meanwhile, regional organisation, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has urged Western countries to remove sanctions they imposed on Zimbabwe.
They made the call during the recent SADC Summit held in the United Republic of Tanzania.