Zimbabwe’s fragile unity government must work harder to convince donor countries that it can rescue the country from economic and political chaos, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday. Tsvangirai, on a tour of Europe and the United States, conceded that his governing partner, President Robert Mugabe, may not be “the best of angels” and that tensions buffet the unity government the two formed in February.
But he said the political underpinnings of the deal remain strong and urged more help from the international community, which thus far has shown little readiness to provide more cash to fund Harare’s reconstruction efforts. “Zimbabwe must understand that we need to earn the confidence of the international community,” Tsvangirai said in an interview two days before he was due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama. “The world is not going to come forward unless there is demonstrable improvement.”
“I am very realistic about what we need to do, and what our shortcomings are.” It is an uphill battle for Tsvangirai, a former labor leader and longtime opposition leader now in an uneasy governing alliance with Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, which he for years accused of stealing elections and intimidating voters.
Harare says it needs about $10 billion to begin fixing an economy mired in its worst crisis since independence in 1980. But Tsvangirai’s trip has yielded few concrete pledges of new support, a sign of lagging confidence in the unity government. The top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, said this week that Washington was troubled by the absence of reform in Zimbabwe and had no plans for now to offer major aid or lift sanctions against Mugabe.
SOURCED FROM REUTERS