African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina and former Mozambican President Joachim Sisano are leading efforts to help Zimbabwe pay off its $8.3 billion debt to foreign countries.
“The success of all of our efforts in this process will depend on what happens in the presidential election,” Adesina said during debt settlement talks with Zimbabwean President Emmerson.
He added that the international community would observe the election “closely” and that a date had not yet been set.
“The full weight of re-engagement with the international community rests on that… (and) the entire electoral process to guarantee credible elections,” he stressed. “Successful political and electoral reforms and free and fair elections will pave the way for Zimbabwe’s arrears and debt settlement,” he added.
Human rights groups and opposition parties condemned the crackdown ahead of the presidential election.
Mr. Cisano, for his part, considered the holding of “free and fair elections” and reparations for former white farmers as “low-hanging fruit” for advancing dialogue with Western countries and financial institutions.
“Harvesting these fruits is very important because they have the potential to trigger decisive action in resolving arrears and debt,” he said.
MM Chisano and Adesina last week met with members of the US Congress, State Department, Treasury and other agencies to discuss Zimbabwe.
Mr. According to Adesina, the AfDB is working with Zimbabwe to “develop innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that will accelerate the mobilization of $3.5 billion in compensation to white farmers”.
Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe launched land reforms in 2000, expropriating white-owned farms to reverse a historical disparity in land ownership that favored the white minority.
Of the 4,500 white farmers in Zimbabwe, more than 4,000 have been evicted from their properties and given to black tenants. But in 2020, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from Mugabe following a coup, signed a $3.5 billion deal to compensate farmers.
By Le360 Africa (with AFP)
On 05/16/2023 at 07:42