FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube says significant progress has been made towards the clearance of arrears owed to several financiers and saluted the role played by the appointed facilitators in resolving the challenges.
Currently saddled in an external debt amounting to US$14,04 billion, authorities in Harare have committed to coming up with a roadmap to engage creditors.
Ncube in December 2021 said the government adopted the Arrears Clearance, Debt Relief and Restructuring Strategy which was operationalised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in February 2022 when he appointed the African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr Akinwumi Adesina the champion of the process.
He is supported by the former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano who is playing the role of High Level Facilitator.
The government established a Structured Dialogue Platform (SDP) with all creditors and Development Partners which saw three Sector Working Groups (SWGs) established on Economic Reforms; Governance Reforms; and Land Tenure Reforms, Compensation of former Farm Owners and the Resolution of BIPPAs.
“Since December 2022, Strategic Working Groups (SWGs) have been working diligently on the reform matrices to underpin the Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution process. SWGs included representatives from Government, international creditors, Development Partners represented by their Ambassadors based in Harare, CSOs and the private sector.
“The Government also applauds its creditors and Development Partners for their unwavering strong support for Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution process,” said Ncube.
He said these SWGs and SDP, government has managed to successfully institutionalise regular constructive, open dialogue, build trust and confidence among all the stakeholders.
Three Policy Reform Matrices have been produced and will provide concrete policy actions and indicators to measure performance over time, reforms Ncube said underpins the ongoing Arrears Clearance and Debt Resolution process and the government is fully committed to their implementation.
“The way of measuring progress needs to be finalised and is pending feedback from Capitals of Development Partners, private sector and CSOs and could lead in due time to an agreed framework.
“The government of Zimbabwe wishes to express its appreciation to our champion, Dr Adesina and our high level facilitator H.E Joaquim Chissano for their sterling support and hard work,” he said.
Ncube said going forward, the SWG and the SDP meetings will continue as a platform for inclusive, frank and constructive dialogue, monitoring progress on the implementation of reforms by the government, technical level of exchange of information and channelling of technical support to the process from Development Partners.
“The dialogue will therefore continue and deepen in the coming months as the implementation of reforms move forward,” Ncube added.