Zimbabwe in DIRE need of economic reform: Nation MUST act quickly post-Mugabe, say IMF

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ZIMBABWE troubles are far from over as the International Monetary Fund has warned that the country must act quickly to solve its deep financial woes

The nation is fresh from the morale-boosting ousting of Robert Mugabe but the country’s experts warn it must now access International financial aid to help the dire economic situation.

Zimbabwe mission chief Gene Leon told Reuters government spending and foreign debt are currently too high and need heavy structural reform.

New leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to expand the economy and provide “jobs jobs jobs”.

The country was once seen as a flourishing economy but is now viewed as the sick man of Africa.

Just like Venezuela, Zimbabwe has defaulted on its large international debt.

Commenting on the country’s situation, Mr Leon said: “Immediate action is critical to reduce the deficit to a sustainable level, accelerate structural reforms, and re-engage with the international community to access much needed financial support.”

Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, stepped down earlier this week under pressure from the military and his own Zanu-PF party.

His policies harmed the country economically as he implemented terrible land reforms and printing too much money.

The economy became so weak it could not even sustain its own currency, when the Zimbabwean dollar succumbed to hyperinflation.

The inflation levels hit 231 million per cent, worse than the legendary hyperinflation that Germany’s Weimar Republic experienced following World War One.

The country then adopted the US dollar as its currency.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) believe that Mnangagwa will not “mimic and replicate the evil, corrupt, decadent and incompetent Mugabe regime” although they still are acting with caution.

At the moment it remains to be seen whether or not the Zanu-PF party will govern alone ahead of schedule elections next year or if a coalition government will be formed.

Economist believe that Zimbabwe needs a cash injection as money shortages is one of the key problems the country experiences. However, it has been barred from borrowing internationally since it began defaulting on its debt in 1999.Residents of the capital Harare have said they are already enjoying less corruption as, with the military protecting the city, they are no longer being targeted by police who demanding bribes.

Spiwe Azvigumi, 31, a mother of three told AFP: “There used to be so many police roadblocks, with the driver having to pay $1 or $2 (75p-£1.50).

“With the police off the roads, crime is actually down – they were so corrupt and now we are living free.”