By Basildon Peta
Harare - World Bank president James Wolfensohn and International Monetary Fund managing director Horst Koehler have rejected Zimbabwe Finance Minister Simba Makoni's pleas for urgent financial help, saying the government first had to restore the rule of law before aid could be released.
Makoni, who has not given a single media interview since his appointment seven months ago, could not be reached for comment on his latest effort to win back IMF and World Bank support for Zimbabwe.
But Zimbabwe's Financial Gazette, quoting Harare-based diplomats close to the two institutions, said Koehler and Wolfensohn had told Makoni in separate meetings in Washington last week that Harare had to stop its fast-track land reforms, already adjudged illegal by Zimbabwe's Supreme Court.
The government should instead implement a lawful land scheme that adheres to principles that were agreed between it and aid donors at a Harare land summit in 1998, the diplomats said.