FINANCE minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday said the International Monetary Fund (IMF)was not imposing its policies on Zimbabwe, adding that discussions under the Staff-Monitored Programme have been brutal, frank and cordial.
Addressing delegates attending a roundtable discussion entitled Economic Prospects for Zimbabwe and Re-engagement Process, Chinamasa said: “I don’t think we should be apologetic for seeking to become sound managers of our economy. What would you criticise if we agree that we will spend more on infrastructure and social services?” he said.
“To the critics, let’s zero in on the policies. Don’t politicise the discussion. Let’s dwell on the policy.”
Chinamasa also urged fellow Cabinet ministers to stop being cry-babies, but seek ways to circumvent the Western sanctions that have been blamed for causing the current economic crisis.
This was after Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said he found it strange that the discussion did not include sanctions imposed by the Western countries.
“It’s odd, so I decided to be the one to raise the issue. Re-engagement in our context is referred to as engagement with the international community, the re-engagement is with Western countries as Zimbabwe has no problem with Africa, Asia and Latin America, that is the overwhelming majority of the international community,” Mumbengwegwi said.
“We need to be clear when we are talking about the re-engagement that what we are talking about is the Western community and we should be concerned when our relations are not as they are supposed to be. But all around this table there is nothing wrong with Zimbabwe. There are countries worse than Zimbabwe and are not under sanctions,” he said.
In response, Chinamasa said while in reality the country was under sanctions, it should craft strategies to have the embargo lifted.
“We should work out strategies to get those sanctions lifted, that means more engagement with those countries that say sanctions should continue. We should talk to them and we should consider it as a process, but before sanctions are lifted we should not sit down and cry. Sanctions undermine our capacity to honour our debts to creditors,” he said.
Chinamasa said the country owed a number of countries and has to re-engage the creditors.
“If we ignore that reality, we will not go anywhere, we just go in a vicious circle. We must engage, we’ve to engage, if we don’t, we are shutting all avenues for development,” he said.
Chinamasa said the endgame to re-engagement “is to reach an accommodation with creditors in order to clear our arrears, to get new money and to access capital markets which Zimbabwe currently is not able to do”. newsday