News / Africa

Mugabe's New Government Faces Old Challenges

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives for the opening of parliament in Harare, Sept. 17, 2013.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives for the opening of parliament in Harare, Sept. 17, 2013.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe officially opened the new parliament this week, with his ZANU-PF party now firmly in control after July's elections.  While the parliament has a huge task of ensuring all Zimbabwe’s laws are in line with the country’s new constitution, Mugabe’s major headache is on how to turn around a battered economy.

“Long live Zimbabwe!  Long live in our unity, diversity.  Long live in our peace and sovereignty,” said President Mugabe, ending his official opening of Zimbabwe’s parliament this week.  He told the new MPs elected in the July elections that 14 new bills would be brought to parliament so the government conforms with Zimbabwe’s new constitution, which came into effect in May.

Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s economic recovery would center on financial assistance from countries like India and China as part of his longstanding “Look East” policy.

Independent analyst Takura Zhangazha predicted that Zimbabwe's situation would improve in the next five years as long as the cabinet and parliament did not fool themselves about the country's problems.

“Zimbabwe will progress, there is no regression.  The big issue is his cabinet’s ability to perform and the majority of ZANU-PF in parliament to understand the key challenges the executive arm of government faces,” said Zhangazha.

Zimbabwe's economy rebounded under the coalition government that ended with the July 31 elections.  But at the moment, about 2.2 million Zimbabweans depend on food handouts; the unemployment rate hovers above 70 percent; and power cuts and unsafe drinking water have become the norm for most Zimbabweans.

On top of that, Western countries show no signs of restoring bilateral aid or removing financial and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his close political allies, who the U.S., Britain, and other countries accuse of election rigging and human rights abuses.

This week Mugabe said it was high time the West changes their hearts.

“With the elections now behind us, we look forward to meaningful and effective collaboration with all progressive members of the global community.  We indeed stand ready to work with those, who, before were at odds with us.  Our detractors.  On the other hand, Zimbabwe will continue to demand the immediate and unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed by some Western arrogant countries,” he said.

Bruce Wharton, the U.S. ambassador to Harare, said Washington remained ready to help Zimbabwe, though he mentioned nothing about sanctions.

“I am looking for all the ways that we can cooperate with the people and government of Zimbabwe... I think at this point we are providing about $95,000 a year in health assistance to the people of Zimbabwe, agricultural development, we are encouraging business and development.  I think our support for the people of Zimbabwe is pretty clear,” he said. 

Mgabe also announced this week that his government would move with “renewed vigor” on "indigenization" - his policy of giving a majority stake of foreign-owned companies to Zimbabwean blacks.  That policy has discouraged foreign investment in Zimbabwe, much like the  earlier seizures of white-owned farmland.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid