Zimbabwe's Finance minister
Tendai Biti said Wednesday that Harare's plea for financial support was
receiving positive response from the international community with some
countries pledging various lines of credit to help Zimbabwean banks. Harare
says it needs at least eight billion dollars over the next three years to
jumpstart its economy, which has the world's highest inflation. This comes
after long time President Robert Mugabe said he is pleased with the cooperation
in the new unity government.
Political analyst George Mkwananzi tells reporter
Peter Clottey that Zimbabweans are expressing optimism about their government's
efforts so far.
it is a piece of good news and quite refreshing coming against the backdrop of
a lot of suffering in Zimbabwe. But we don't know for sure whether these things
will translate themselves into visible financial aid which is going to flow
into Zimbabwe. But trusting that the minister is telling us the truth then we
obviously welcome and embrace it as good news. Zimbabweans need that kind of
aid they need the assistance so that they can have their dignity restored and
they reclaim their face under the sun," Mkwananzi pointed out.
He said many Zimbabweans had
to leave the country in droves because conditions became unbearable.
"The situation in Zimbabwe
had gotten to a level where it had become practically disastrous to live in
that country. It was suicidal to be a resident of Zimbabwe and that is why many
people had to pour outside the borders of the country into neighboring
countries because they had to escape the disease, the lack of services, basic
services, lack of commodities including the collapse of education and the
health sector," he said.
Mkwananzi said it would be
great for Zimbabwe's economy when regional and international financial support
begin to pour into the country.
"If lines of credit are open
for Zimbabwe so that they can begin to reconstruct and restructure all the
collapsed infrastructure then it is going to give confidence that the country
is on the road to recovery, and perhaps it will even encourage doubtful foreign
investors to also take interest in Zimbabwe and then put their money there,"
He said long time leader
President Mugabe is a major cause of the country's financial crisis.
"Robert Mugabe has been the
greatest stumbling block on Zimbabwe's progress and recovery particularly by
appearing to frustrate and thwart whatever efforts were being made by his
counterpart in the MDC (opposition Movement for Democratic Change) to get the
country to recover. And also recently by encouraging fresh farm evasion and
with this statement that he has issued lately, it would appear that he can see
that if his colleagues in government from the other party are given enough
space and enough authority without being hindered and inhibited then they will
cause a lot of progressive developments to occur in the country which will be
to the benefit of everybody including himself," he said.
So far some countries have been reluctant to release
donor aid to Zimbabwe over policy
differences with long time ruler President Robert Mugabe. They want to see
political reforms put in place before resuming support. But Zimbabwe's strong
neighbor South Africa as well as other countries and banks have promised
funding, and some undisclosed amount in lines of credit to help with the unity government's
efforts at restarting the shattered economy.
government figures show that ordinary Zimbabweans
have been seeing a slight fall in the price of everyday items since it allowed
shops to abandon the local currency.
Hyper-inflation has destroyed
the value of the Zimbabwe dollar, but the new unity government of President
Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has raised hopes of rescuing
the once prosperous country. Previous official figures showed inflation at 231
million per cent in July, but economists said it rose far higher.