By Staff Reporter
A staff-monitored program is an informal and flexible instrument for dialogue between the Fund staff and a member country on its economic policies.
SMP is not accompanied by financial support.
SMPs do not entail financial assistance or endorsement by the IMF Executive Board
IMF inline with decision by all international lenders would not be extending financial assistance to Harare
- The southern African nation has missed repayments to offset $10 billion national debt
In a report released this week, IMF indicated they completed the combined first and second reviews under the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) with Zimbabwe towards the end of June 2014 in Harare.
An SMP is an corrective instrument which recognises informal agreement between Harare and Fund staff to monitor the implementation of the authorities’ economic program, in this particular case -ZimASSET . It must be noted that although this does not translate into cash advances , it is a step in the right direction as Zanu PF regime re-engages with international community since 2002.
IMF assessment positively noted that,”
The Zimbabwean authorities’ performance under the SMP has been broadly satisfactory and the authorities have taken corrective measures to ensure a track record of policy implementation going forward.
The SMP provided a useful anchor for Zimbabwe in a difficult election year.However, progress in implementing the program was slowed by a long electoral process and a protracted post-election transition, as well as an adverse external environment.”
Regrettably the Zimbabwe also missed a number of key quantitative targets and structural benchmarks.
The report noted that Harare began implementing policy measures aimed at addressing the 2014 fiscal gap, improving the quality of public expenditures, enhancing financial sector stability, and moving forward delayed structural reform measures.
A successful conclusion of the third review could pave the way to a successor SMP, which the authorities have indicated they may request, to build on their achievements and support a stronger policy framework.
IMF staff will remain engaged with the authorities to monitor progress in the implementation of the authorities’ economic program, and will continue providing targeted technical assistance to support Zimbabwe’s capacity-building efforts and its adjustment and reform program.
Zimbabwe has reiterated to international lenders their willingness to commit to the policies under the SMP and to enhanced engagement with their creditors and the international community. Without a national debt management program, it is unlikely for Harare to unlock any funds. In actual fact , it means that Zanu PF government alone will not be able to convince World Bank , IMF , AfDB etc that they would repay national debt. Mugabe has to swallow pride and convene an all inclusive National Consultative Tripartite conference .
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been calling for national dialogue to solve current economic crisis. Recently some senior Zanu PF members have indicated their willingness to talk to opposition MDC-T‘s Tsvangirai on condition that he concedes defeat in 31 July 2013 poll. International observers agreed with Tsvangirai that the last poll fell well below acceptable international standards for national polls. Of particular note was lack of inspectable voters roll or refusal by Mugabe to hand over to opposition electronic copies of the register.
Meanwhile as Zimbabwean leaders play “Tom & Jerry” comic games with national matters, unconfirmed reports suggest that Harare is broke beyond August 2014. There won’t be funds to meet monthly national obligations like civil servants wages.