MDC Ministers in London to woo donors and investors

ago_mutambaraThree cabinet ministers from the two MDC formations, plus Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara (pictured), were in London on Thursday addressing two separate meetings that sought to woo investors and donors to help with Zimbabwes economic recovery. The ministers were accompanied by their permanent secretaries and

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister, Senator David Coltart, addressed a conference to drum up support for the education sector. The conference was put together by the Commonwealth Consortium for Education and the Link Community Development. Present at the meeting were several donor agencies and NGOs working in the field of education and Coltart pitched his future plans for rehabilitating the education sector in Zimbabwe.

Across town in Westminster, Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, cabinet ministers Joel Gabbuza (Public Works) and Sam Sipepa Nkomo (Water Resources) attended an investment conference organized by the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers. Among those invited to speak was Econets CEO Douglas Mboweni, Zimbabwes Ambassador to the UK Gabriel Machinga and former Industry and Trade Minister Nkosana Moyo, now Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the African Development Bank.

The Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers said the conference was intended to bring together the government of Zimbabwe, diplomats, engineers, consultants, investors, financiers, fund managers and multi-national companies, to examine infrastructure investment opportunities in the four key areas of water, sanitation, transportation, energy and ICTs.

Newsreel spoke to Senator Coltart on the sidelines of the education conference and asked him how the coalition hoped to resolve the challenges facing the country if their ZANU PF partners continued pulling in a different direction and continued with their endless human rights violations. Coltart said there were elements in ZANU PF that were determined to see the coalition collapse.

Its very difficult given there are elements within ZANU PF who dont like this agreement, in fact who hate it and who want to break it and they, I believe are the ones behind these egregious acts. They are the ones directing these prosecutions and directing ongoing farm invasions. Their purpose is clear. To keep the international community disengaged, to try to force the combined MDC formations to walk away from this agreement.

Coltart said although they could not dismiss or ignore these actions they had to find a way to work around them and have in mind that the ultimate goal is this transition. He said they were hoping a new constitution, new electoral laws and the freeing up of the media would lead to a free and fair election or at the very least an election better than the one held last time.

A participant in the meeting questioned the minister on what impact the sale of diamonds, recently approved by the Kimberly Process, would have on the attempts to revamp the education sector. Coltart found it difficult to answer this and admitted he was going to be vague, saying they were trying to put measures in place to ensure money from the diamonds would find its way into state coffers and not just into the hands of the ruling elite.

There has been criticism that while Mugabes regime focus on retaining power they are using the MDC face of the government to go around the world asking for money to rebuild the country. On Thursday it was there for all to see, with 3 cabinet ministers from the MDC formations doing the PR for the government in a western country, while ZANU PF appointed permanent secretaries and other probable CIO minders looked on.

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