19 May 2009
A team of International Monetary Fund (IMF) experts are in Zimbabwe to help the country start fixing its troubled public finances.
The IMF team, led by Erik Oppers and comprising Mike Andrews, Warren Coats, Kristian Kjeldsen and Kenneth Sullivan, will provide technical assistance in various areas, the IMF in a statement this week.
This includes tax policy and administration, payments systems, lender-of-last-resort operations and banking supervision, as well as central banking governance and accounting.
“Shortly thereafter, two teams of experts from the IMF fiscal affairs department will provide technical assistance in the areas of tax policy and tax administration,” the IMF said, adding that its staff members were looking forward to working with the authorities in providing technical assistance in the targeted areas.
The mission comes weeks after the IMF board announced the lifting of a ban on technical support to Zimbabwe in the above targeted areas.
The IMF’s visit is seen as a sign of thawing relations between global money lending institutions and Zimbabwe, where a coalition government between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been in place for almost three months.
The IMF cut off financial support to Zimbabwe about a decade ago over differences with Mugabe over fiscal policy issues and other governance issues.
IMF officials are due to meet Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti and central bank Governor Gideon Gono this week.
The mission is expected to end on 29 May.