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IMF ready to offer immediate help to Zimbabwe

The International Monetary Fund is prepared to offer immediate assistance to Zimbabwe and an aid package will be discussed in April, state media quoted a government minister as saying.

State-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Elton Mangoma as saying after talks with IMF and World Bank delegations that discussions were positive. “They have told us that they are willing to immediately assist us,” Mangoma said.

Zimbabwe badly needs Western donors and foreign investors to help rescue its shattered economy but that will depend on the creation of a democratic government and economic reforms such as reversing nationalization plans.

An IMF mission arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday to conduct a regular review of the economy after a two-year break to assess the country's dire economic situation and economic crisis.

The visit comes weeks after a new power-sharing government of old rivals was formed between Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, the country's sole ruler for nearly three decades, and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, the main opposition leader. (Reuters)