Global financial crisis will hamper Tsvangirai aid appeal

tsvangirai_at_sadc_summit.jpgPrime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Efforts by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to get at least US$5 billion to re-build Zimbabwe's shattered economy will prove very difficult to accomplish, experts predict.

The worldwide banking and financial crisis that has fuelled massive job
cuts and company closures has meant most western countries are
tightening their purse strings and focusing on supporting their own
economies. The funding of a reconstruction programme for a country
still led by a murderous dictator will hardly be a priority.
Predictably, Tsvangirai and new Finance Minister Tendai Biti were in
South Africa last Friday for talks with President Kgalema Motlanthe and
Biti's counterpart, Trevor Manuel, to see how the regional powerhouse
can help.

On Monday reports suggested Southern African Development Community
(SADC) finance ministers will meet within a week to forge a rescue plan
for Zimbabwe. Officials have declined to disclose any figures but it's
expected the ministers will develop the detail' once they meet. Manuel
told journalists; We have to work together. It is a process of
identification and finding the appropriate measures. We should not put
too much pressure on people; Tendai Biti has been finance minister for
exactly one week. One can’t expect him to have every answer.'

On Sunday at a rally to celebrate the MDC's 10th anniversary Tsvangirai
told his supporters that a unity government was the only way out of the
crisis for the country. Speaking at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru he called
for national healing and reconciliation, if the country was to move
forward. This nation needs national healing. It has endured so much
violence. Let’s

forgive those who have transgressed against us. If there’s no national healing, there won’t be progress.'

Despite Tsvangirai's best intentions the continued incarceration of Roy
Bennet, Jestina Mukoko, Chris Dhlamini, Gandi Mudzingwa and over 30
other political prisoners continues to make a mockery of the coalition

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