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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More