Tsvangirai blames economic woes on coalition violations

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has again indicated that continuing violations of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing deal have stalled efforts to win the desperately needed foreign aid for the fragile inclusive government.

Despite the signing of the Global Political Agreement that created the unity government, the nation’s laws were not enforced uniformly, making foreign donors reluctant to open their wallets, Tsvangirai said.

“The continued violations of the rule of law and the Global Political Agreement prevent the inflows of development aid, obstructing the legislative agenda, and risk keeping Zimbabwe mired in poverty and the fear of persecution,” Tsvangirai said.

“What continues to plague Zimbabwe can be best described as reluctance to accept the reality of the changes taking place within the country (…) This residual resistance represents an unwillingness to accept the fact that the new political dispensation is not only irreversible, but also offers the country the only viable way forward.”

Tsvangirai and Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government in February aimed at ending nearly a year of political unrest sparked by inconclusive elections last year.

However, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change is disputing Mugabe’s unilateral appointment of the central bank governor, the attorney-general and provincial governors. Guarantees of political and media freedom have been ignored, with two leading journalists arrested this week for reporting on public court documents that named security officials involved in the abduction of rights activists.

Tsvangirai warned that Zimbabwe would not move forward if the unity deal was “not fully implemented while the rule of law continues to be violated”.

He again insisted he would not pull out of the unity government, calling it “the only viable way forward for this country”.

Although Zimbabwe has won $1bn in credit lines from across Africa, the government is still struggling to win direct financial support. Many western nations say they want to see more concrete signs of reform before giving financial aid directly to the government.

Zimbabwe had exceeded its target of securing $1bn in credit lines from Africa, Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma said yesterday, at the launch of a 100-day government plan to repair the shattered economy.

“We’ve made major strides in obtaining lines of credit for the private sector, so our $1bn target has already been surpassed.”

Mangoma said Zimbabwe had secured $1bn from African financial institutions such as the African Development Bank and the Cairo-based African ExportImport Bank, and $150m from SA and Botswana.

A total of $8,3bn is needed to restore the country’s economy.

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