Zimbabwean delegation to London faces protest
By Tatenda Dewa
Exiled Zimbabweans will next week protest at a conference where a high delegation from the Zimbabwean government is scheduled to speak on the need for restoration of international financial aid.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) cut ties with Zimbabwe more than a decade ago over high debts and fiscal indiscipline.
Africa Confidential (AC), a news and information publication covering African political and economic affairs, organised the seminar that will take place on 5 July in London.
The Zimbabwean delegation, said AC recently, comprises Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, Investment minister, Obert Mpofu, Industry and Commerce minister, Joey Bimha and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya.
“Exiled Zimbabweans are to picket a conference in London on 5 July at which Zanu PF will try to persuade the world that it is reforming and should be bailed out with Western loans.
“The meeting comes as the bankrupt regime hopes to convince the International Monetary Fund that it is serious about implementing the constitution adopted in 2013,” reported the Zimbabwe Vigil, a pressure group based in the UK.
According to AC, the IMF looks set to resume aid to Zimbabwe after a meeting next September.
The protesters will camp outside the venue of the conference and inform prospective investors about Zimbabwe’s current economic crisis characterised by an acute cash squeeze.
They intend to distribute protest fliers, flags; leaflets and posters.
Even though AC named the four ministers as among the key speakers, the vigil said, they have not yet been confirmed as participants, “suggesting their attendance is uncertain”.
“The Vigil wonders whether people will be entitled to a refund of the fee for the one-day conference of more than £500,” said Zimbabwe Vigil.
The pressure group quoted MDC-T legislator, Eddie Cross, saying Harare’s plan to introduce bond notes was a clear sign that the economy was fragile as government’s liabilities were worse than what it had declared to the IMF.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and MDC-T recently united in attacking the IMF for its reported intentions to re-engage President Robert Mugabe’s government.
Cross complained that Zanu PF was plotting to use a local government bill to restore sweeping powers to the relevant minister who has in the past been accused of using his influence to dilute opposition-dominated councils.
The legislator said the national voters’ roll was still under military control which has in the past been accused of working with a shadowy Israeli company, NIKUV, to rig elections in favour of Zanu PF.
Cross recently told journalists that the Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, was grabbing State land and selling it cheaply to youths so as to woo votes ahead of the 2018 general elections. Nehanda Radio