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World Bank, Zimbabwe govt meet on fund

The World Bank is discussing with government on the disbursement of the money raised under a fund to support the economic blue-print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset).

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

The World Bank and several partners have so far mobilised US$44 million under the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (Zimref) to support the economic plan.

World Bank senior country economist Johannes Herderschee said the bank was working with government on a number of strategies for policy formulation.

“We are consulting with the donors on the fund. We are discussing with the minister of Finance. The total is US$44 million,” Herderschee said.

The fund is expected to rise up to US$100 million from donors this year in a development expected to stimulate investment in the country.

Zimref will be implemented over a period of five years (2014-2019) and is a successor to the Zimbabwe Analytical-Multi Donor Trust Fund (A-MDTF).

The fund is expected to expand World Bank support to investment projects and to channel some finances directly to government.

Donors that are contributing to the Zimref include the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden and the World Bank State and the Peace Building Fund.

The A-MDTF that was established in 2008 ended in 2014 with over US$22 million having been spent on policy assistance, technical assistance, information systems and analytical studies that have helped to strengthen dialogue with the government through the multi-fund.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the fund would provide flexibility for him to tackle some urgent reform measures that include parastatals reform in which he would use US$15 million from the fund this year to carry out an audit.

Chinamasa said the audit would help him to know the numbers in parastatals and enable him avoid witch-hunting.

He said the fund would enable government to audit parastatals and local authorities. The minister pointed out that strategic parastatals would be audited first followed by less strategic ones.

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