Biti gloats after Zimbabwe excluded from IMF Covid-19 debt relief

U.S. Senators Jeff Flake, Zimbabwe Politicians Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti, Author Peter Godwin

MDC Alliance deputy president and ex-finance minister Tendai Biti says Zimbabwe’s poor human rights profile has cost the nation an opportunity to benefit from a giant International Monetary Fund (IMF) Covid-19 grant running into billions of dollars.

In a statement Monday, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said: “Today, I am pleased to say that our Executive Board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The countries that stand to benefit from the fund include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Biti placed the blame squarely on the Zanu PF led government for allegedly squandering the country’s opportunity to benefit from the rare grant.

He was briefing the press outside the High Court Tuesday soon after successfully representing human rights activist Mfundu Mlilo who had sued government for abandoning the poor during the current 21-day national lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.