May 6, 2009
HARARE (AFP) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will send a team to Zimbabwe next week to assess the country's tax policy, banking and governance issues, an official said on Thursday.
The IMF technical team, the second delegation from the institution since March, will be in the country from Monday until May 29.
"An IMF delegation will be in the country on Monday next week to assess the country's financial systems," an official close to the delegation told AFP.
"The delegation's visit follows the executive board's decision early this month which approved technical assistance in the areas of tax policy and administration, payments system, lender-of-last-resort operations and banking supervision, central banking governance and accounting."
On May 6, the IMF announced that it had resumed technical assistance to targeted areas in Zimbabwe following consultations with the new unity government in the southern African country.
The board took into account a "significant improvement in Zimbabwe's co-operation on economic policies" to address its problems over arrears, which amounted to 133 million dollars, an IMF statement said after the board meeting.
The official however said "many outstanding issues need to be resolved before the IMF and other multilaterals like the World Bank and the African Development Bank can provide financial assistance to Zimbabwe."
"This is a first step that will start to resolve some of the outstanding issues," he added.
The new government led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has made it a priority to restore relations with major international organisations and revive the country's economy.
In February, Tsvangirai joined President Robert Mugabe in a power sharing government.
"The government's forward-looking policy intentions are sound but their success mainly depends on the authorities' ability to sustain political commitment and strengthen technical capacity," an IMF report released this week said.
"Other risks include political tensions within the unity government and unfilled budgetary financing gaps."