Zimbabwe is slowly plunging into deeper debt as it implements the World Bank and IMF sponsored Economic Structural Adjustment Programme, which it claims is homemade.
Minister of state for Finance, Tichaendepi Masaya, told Parliament last month that the country’s debt burden was not that bad but did not give the current figures. He, however, said two years ago the debt burden had dropped to about 25 percent. This meant that for every dollar the country earned from its exports 25 cents was paid to outside creditors. “That is not too bad,” he said.
He said in 1988, the debt burden was 37 cents for every dollar earned through exports and “that was still manageable.” He said there was therefore no question of mortgaging the nation and “the current trend in the economy should not pre-occupy honourable members.”
Masaya had just announced three loan agreements one for US$10 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation of the US to finance the procurement of agricultural commodities from that country, another of $78.91 million from NMB Bank of Netherlands for the purchase of 296 bus kits for the cash troubled and highly inefficient ZUPCO which has only now decided to revise its fares after almost six months of stagnant business, and the third for $75.18 million from the European Investment Bank for the Harare sewerage treatment plant.
Zimbabwe was also awarded US$459 million by the IMF for the next three years made up of US$296 million from the enhanced structural adjustment facility and US$163 million from the extended fund facility. The money which amounts to $2 billion seems to have been welcomed like a donation yet experts say that the IMF has over the past few years been taking more out of Africa than it was giving.