Joachim Chissano, former Mozambican President, arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday ahead of the second structured dialogue platform Indaba on debt that will be held on Thursday.
The Indaba which is between government, creditors and development partners is meant to discuss economic and governance reforms to anchor the arrears clearance and debt resolution process, according to Chronicle.
Chissano was met by Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Clemence Chiduwa at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
He will co-chair the meeting with African Development Bank president Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year appointed former President Chissano as the high-level facilitator of Zimbabwe ‘s arrears clearance and debt resolution process, while Dr Adesina was appointed champion of the process.
Zimbabwe owes US$14 billion to multilateral financial institutions, bilateral partners, and other creditors.
Speaking to journalists on his arrival, former President Chissano said:
I have come here on the invitation of both President Mnangagwa and AfDB president Adesina. We will be launching the second meeting to deal with the arrears and debt of Zimbabwe.
I have been asked to be the facilitator of this discussion between Zimbabwe and key stakeholders so I am here for that.
Former President Chissano said preparations for the meeting will start today, with preliminary engagements with stakeholders.
Deputy Minister Chiduwa expressed the country’s gratitude for the role being played by the former Mozambican leader. Chiduwa said:
As a way forward in terms of what we have done so far, in December (last year) we had our first meeting and that meeting focused on how best we can go forward.
The inaugural structured dialogue platform meeting agreed on three pillars for implementation, namely economic reforms and stability, governance reforms and land tenure and compensation of white former commercial farmers, including the resolution of bilateral investment protection and promotion agreements. Chiduwa added:
This then led to two areas, those areas that we are referring to as reform areas.
We have the reform area on economics and the governance area. So, having met with our creditors and the development, we managed to come up with a reform matrix and that is what we are going to discuss now on Thursday.
Meanwhile, some analysts are sceptical of the impact Chissano will have on the Zimbabwean debt.
In a Twitter post seen by Pindula News, an Economic blogger, Tinashe, twitter handle Baba_nyenyedzi, said:
Zimbabwe is in a debt trap. Will Chissano be able to move things forward? Zim authorities are not yet ready for the creditor discussion. The hope is that Chissano might unlock political willingness. As usual Zim authorities believe they can tell creditors what to do.
The government says the High-Level Visit reflects the ongoing foreign policy thrust by Zimbabwe of re-engaging International Financial Institutions for purpose of international debt clearance and access to international finance.
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