News / Africa

Zimbabwe Marks Third Anniversary of Unity Government

President Mugabe shares a light moment with PM Tsvangirai and his deputy, Arthur Mutambara, after giving their end of year message to the nation, at Zimbabwe House in Harare, Dec. 23, 2009.
President Mugabe shares a light moment with PM Tsvangirai and his deputy, Arthur Mutambara, after giving their end of year message to the nation, at Zimbabwe House in Harare, Dec. 23, 2009.

This weekend marks the third anniversary of the formation of Zimbabwe’s unity government, which came into being after the internationally-discredited 2008 presidential election. While little political progress has been made since its inception, the unity government has brought some stability to Zimbabwe.

One major improvement in the past three years has been the end of hyper-inflation following the adoption of the U.S. dollar and South African rand - giving Zimbabweans certainty in their day-to-day purchasing power.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has taken control of revenue collection and of the country’s financial management, which has brought some stability to the economy.

He, together with his fellow Movement for Democratic Change ministers in education and health, and with aid from European countries channeled through the U.N. in Harare, have got most children back to school and most clinics and hospitals operating.

But President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party continue their control over the security agencies and other key ministries such as home affairs and information.  The MDC has accused ZANU-PF of exploiting this control to harass and arrest MDC leaders, and prevent the party from holding rallies.

The MDC and its leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, complain that Mr. Mugabe is also blocking implementation of key clauses in the Global Political Agreement that brought about the unity government.  

A new electoral law, the establishment of a human rights commission, and a new constitution endorsed by a referendum are all at least two years overdue.

This week the parliamentary committee overseeing the writing of the new constitution promised it would be ready soon.  But, co-chairman Edward Mkhosi was unwilling to confirm press reports that the draft would include age and term limits for presidents.

"No suggested position in the first proposal can be taken as final," he said. "It is therefore premature at this stage to conclude that Zimbabweans through the outreach consultation stated that people who have served at least two terms, or those above the age of 70, will not be able to contest the presidential election."

Age and term limits, if included, would affect President Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, and celebrates his 88th birthday later this month.

While Mr. Mugabe wants elections this year, this is unlikely to happen.  South African President Jacob Zuma, the Southern Africa Development Community facilitator on Zimbabwe, insists that the new constitution be in place and all requirements of the political agreement met, before elections can take place.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid