Former finance minister Tendai Biti has described the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a naïve and dishonest institution after it published a report forecasting a 7% growth in Zimbabwe’s economy.
After the IMF staff team led by Dhaneshwar Ghura conducted a virtual staff visit with the Zimbabwe authorities during June 1–15, 2021 to discuss recent economic developments and the economic outlook, it released a press statement saying that economic recovery is underway in 2021.
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IMF also projected real GDP growth of 6 per cent, “reflecting a bumper agricultural output, increased energy production, and the resumption of greater manufacturing and construction activities.”
Addressing online viewers during a policy dialogue organised by SAPES to discuss the recent IMF and World Bank reports, Biti said:
_The IMF press statement was naïve and dishonest. It reminded me of IMF reports that used to be issued in 2014/15/16 by an IMF chief known as Dominic Fanizer who later on left the IMF and joined the Development Bank._
_Those reports were so dishonest and so dangerous they sounded been written and authored at the Zanu PF head office._
_It looks like we are now back to that same level of naivety by the IMF so we have a group of people and I don’t think the lead economist has actually ever been to Zimbabwe so they conduct zoom interviews by zoom officials, conduct zoom interviews with Zimbabweans carefully selected by the local office which has been adding and abating this dishonest and suddenly they have become experts on Zimbabwe and they can write a report on Zimbabwe._
_This is typical of decades of IMF interventions on the African continent which has been consistent siding with autocrats, which has been consistent with siding and undermining democratic agenda._
_If you trace the 70s, the 80s constantly there were writing reports oblivious to the atrocities of people like Emperor Bukasa, Sani Abacha stealing billions in Nigeria, various Ugandan governments from Milton Obote now Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who just by the way only last week got a billion-dollar loan from the IMF despite the atrocities and electoral disputes in Uganda._
_So, it appears that the IMF particularly under the new managing director Georgina Christina, the regime at the IMF is naïve and dishonest._
Biti said agriculture, which IMF based its predictions on, now plays an insignificant contribution to GDP adding that its share fell from 35% of GDP to 8% of GDP.