The International Monetary Fund’s postponement of a decision on Zimbabwe’s compulsory withdrawal played into the hands of the Zimbabwean government because it was portrayed in the government-owned media as a vote of confidence in the country’s home-grown economic turnaround efforts.
The government was also using the “economic turnaround” as a plank in its 2005 parliamentary election campaign.
Viewing cable 05HARARE261, GOZ PORTRAYS IMF DECISION AS “REPRIEVE”
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000261
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y – RECLASS PARA 1,2 AND ADDEES
STATE FOR AF/S
USDOC FOR ROBERT TELCHIN
TREASURY FOR OREN WYCHE-SHAW
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/13/2014
SUBJECT: GOZ PORTRAYS IMF DECISION AS “REPRIEVE”
Classified By: Classified by Ambassador Christopher Dell
under Section 1.4 e/g
¶1. (U) In its lead story on February 18, the GOZ,s daily
Herald newspaper characterized the International Monetary
Fund (IMF),s postponement of a decision on Zimbabwe,s
compulsory withdrawal as “reflect(ing) a vote of confidence
in the country,s home-grown economic turnaround efforts.”
The Herald quoted Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono,s as
stating that “we are obviously happy with the outcome.”
¶2. (U) The Herald recalled that Zimbabwe had increased its
arrears payments to the Fund during 2004, reaching US$ 5
million in the last quarter. The article asserted further
that relations between Zimbabwe and the IMF had “thawed over
the past year,” citing IMF Africa Director Abdoulaye
Bio-Tchane,s visit to Zimbabwe in November “as a step
forward in mending relations.” The Herald story did not name
the U.S., U.K. and Canada as opponents of the extension.
¶3. (C) Comment: The GOZ has seized upon the “economic
turnaround” as a plank in its parliamentary election
campaign. In that regard, the IMF decision plays into their