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Mugabe: Zimbabwe Does Not Need Western Aid

President Robert Mugabe addresses the nation as Zimbabwe celebrates 30 years of independence from Britain, in Harare, 18 Apr 2010

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says his country does not need Western aid to rebuild its shattered economy.

State newspapers Friday quoted the president as saying Zimbabwe "shall recover by her wits and resources," and should not waste its time on what he called "useless initiatives."

His comments follow a meeting last week between members of Zimbabwe's unity government and European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.

In 2009, Zimbabwe appealed for more than $8 billion in aid following years of food shortages, high unemployment, and hyperinflation. Western nations said they wanted to see proof of good governance before making major commitments.

In comments earlier this week, Mr. Mugabe said Zimbabwe would continue to pursue closer relations with China, which has invested tens of billions of dollars across Africa over the past decade.

The United States and Europe accuse Mr. Mugabe of driving Zimbabwe to ruin with years of political repression and economic mismanagement, especially the seizure of white-owned commercial farms. The president blames the problems on Western sanctions that target his political allies.

Mr. Mugabe was forced to share power with the longtime opposition MDC party after the disputed and violence-plagued 2008 elections.