Mugabe begs UNDP for help

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has sent an SOS to the international community for emergency aid worth Z$19.8 billion to avert a fast-approaching humanitarian disaster caused by shortages of food, foreign currency and fuel.
Mugabe last week sent his Finance Minister Hebert Murerwa to ask United

Nations Development Programme representative in Zimbabwe Agostinho Zaccarius to
appeal to the world community for help on Harare’s behalf.
Murerwa met Zaccarius last week before he left for China and asked him to help raise $11 billion from the international community.
The funds would finance a massive maize and wheat import programme necessary if Zimbabweans are not to starve in the next few months.
Retired Colonel Samuel Muvhuti, the acting chief executive officer of the GMB, announced officially this week that the parastatal has collected a paltry 480,000 tonnes of maize from the 2005/2006 agricultural season against a projected 1,8 million tones.
Murerwa was said to have told Zaccarius that the government needs another Z$8.8 billion to help repair dilapidated public infrastructure across Zimbabwe, including roads and bridges washed away during floods two years ago.
Western diplomatic sources said Mugabe had decided to send Murerwa because the minister, who is at any rate in charge of the country’s finances, is perceived to be more acceptable to Western donor countries than most of his Cabinet colleagues.
Neither could be reached for comment this week, but a senior Western diplomat based in Harare said: “Obviously Mugabe himself or his Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi cannot champion this thing. But even Murerwa will find the politics interfering in what should clearly be treated as a plea for humanitarian assistance. The donors will, for example, want firm guarantees that whatever aid they give should not be politicised.”
The sources said that Murerwa had last week also begun approaching individual donor countries and was briefing other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries on the humanitarian catastrophe facing Zimbabwe if the world does not move quickly to offer assistance. – Own correspondent

Editorial 44
Freight furore angers shippers

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *