IMF tells Zimbabwe central bank not to print money for businesses

GABORONE, Sept 27, 2007 (AFP) – The IMF will continue to shun Zimbabwe until its central bank stops meddling and the government starts managing its natural resources properly, a senior official said on Thursday.

“Zimbabwe must put in place the proper economic policies and gradually they will see the IMF coming on board,” International Monetary Fund executive director Peter Gakunu said on a visit to Botswana.

“The problem with Zimbabwe is that the central bank is getting involved in business.

It is not its duty to do so,” Gakunu told reporters.

“Zimbabwe’s situation is difficult. We have a government whose macro-economic framework does not conform to reality.”

The IMF effectively suspended its dealings with Zimbabwe after a delegation paid a fact-finding visit to Harare in December last year and the southern African country only narrowly avoided expulsion from the organisation.

Zimbabwe’s startling economic decline has accelerated since then, with inflation now standing at more than 6,500 percent.

Production of everything from gold to farm produce has plummeted in recent years with companies struggling to access foreign currency and pay for parts.

Gakunu, formerly a senior