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News ::
Zimbabwe still making a stand against the IMF
02 Aug 2001
Progressive land reform in Zimbabwe has made it another victim of the IMF's wrath.
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's elected president, is one of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank's most outspoken critics among world leaders. Of course it's true that his competition is not too strong, especially in the "Global North" where the leaders of the world's richest countries meet and fancy how they represent the poor while those in the streets do not.

The relationship between Mugabe and the IMF grew more tense when in 1999 the IMF, uneasy with the land redistribution occuring in the country, delivered an ultimatum to Zimbabwe's government ordering it to fully compensate white former landlords whose lands had been redistributed to black farmers.

Zimbabwe had already agreed to pay for the land's infrastructure but refused to recognize the white landowners' colonial heritage: property stolen by their European ancestors over a century ago. In return, a number of so-called 'Western' countries and the IMF, which Mugabe calls "a tool used by imperialists," cancelled their promises to provide loans to Zimbabwe -- loans which had been agreed upon a year before. What is worse is that the IMF's 1991 "structural adjustment plans" had already destroyed the country.

Even now, the IMF is busy playing kids' games. It refuses to relieve Zimbabwe's previous debts until the government reverses its progressive social policies and turns them into pro-investor and pro-white-colonialist policies. The IMF is effectively overriding democracy and justice by deciding exactly which laws receive its seal of approval.

As vocal as Mugabe has been against the IMF, calling it a monstrous creature and telling its "tasks forces" to shut up, those who will be converging on Washington DC, USA to protest the IMF and World Bank's policies at the end of September cannot expect Mugabe to accompany them since the US Congress has imposed travelling restrictions upon him until he tries to stop the land reforms in Zimbabwe.

The leaders of the USA, Canada and Israel, among others, were unavailable for comment, thus it is unknown if the IMF has been pressuring these countries into compensating their indigenous people for their land.
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