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Mugabe lashes out at IMF
Zimbabwe's Mugabe rebuffs 'monstrous' IMF
Date: Sun Apr 18 08:32:56 CDT 1999
HARARE, April 18 (AFP) - President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Sunday
lashed out at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and suggested his
cash-strapped country could seek essential financial aid elsewhere.
"Let that monstrous creature get out of our way," Mugabe said of the IMF
in a interview with the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper.
"Why should we continue to plead. Let us look elsewhere for resources.
After all the money is not to be given free of charge," Mugabe said.
Mugabe's remarks lend further credence to reports from the ruling ZANU-PF
party's leadership that Zimbabwe plans to cut ties with the lending body.
Zimbabwe has been desperately waiting for some 53 million US dollars in
balance-of-payment support which has been frozen by the IMF for seven
Stumbling blocks to the release of the money include a convoluted land
reform process and Zimbabwe's costly military support of President Laurent
Kabila of the Democratic Republic of
Industry and Commerce Minister Nathan Shamuyarira late last week admitted
that his party colleagues had expressed displeasure with the IMF, but had
not reached a decision to cut links with the fund.
"They complained that it (the IMF) keeps changing goal posts in the
release of the funds. But we did not go as far as saying 'let's cut links
with the IMF or the World Bank,'" Shamuyarira said.
Mugabe was more forthright: "Here in Zimbabwe we have had more years
without it (the IMF) and I don't see any reason why we can't turn our back
to it," he told the Sunday Mail.
"But the World Bank, unless it proves to be exactly like the monstrous
IMF creature, I think we should remain associated with it because we can
point to very good developmental results," he said.
The IMF and the World Bank had been major funders of economic reforms
since 1991, when Zimbabwe embarked on market-based changes.
The IMF board is expected to meet on May 5 to discuss Zimbabwe's case.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe would not kneel down to pray to the IMF to confess
its sins as if it were God.
"For goodness sake, we are sovereign country, and we must not humiliate
ourselves to that extent," he said.
Zimbabwe is currently reeling under the worst economic conditions since
independence with inflation and interest rates soaring at over 50 percent,
and the currency's value having depreciated by more than 70 percent in the