21 Feb 2010

IMF gives vote back to Zimbabwe

11:54 am on 21 February 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to restore Zimbabwe's voting rights after a seven-year suspension for unpaid debts.

Although it can take part in IMF decision-making, the fund said the country was still ineligible for loans until it had paid off more of the $US1.3bn it owes creditors.

The move to restore voting rights recognises the country's efforts to repair its economy and improve relations with donors.

The fund suspended Zimbabwe's voting rights in 2003 over disagreements with the previous government of President Robert Mugabe.

There are signs that the country's economy is improving a year after Mr Mugabe and former foe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai united in a coalition government.

The move comes just days after the European Union renewed sanctions against the country for another 12 months, citing lack of progress by the new unity government.