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Tsvangirai says Zimbabwe is Making Slow Progress

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (file 23 Jun 2010)

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says there is slow progress towards democracy, with many serious political and economic problems outstanding.

Speaking at an investment conference, Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said some people 's impatience with the slow pace of reform had forgotten how bad it had been in Zimbabwe in the past Decade.

"Just as I share your frustrations at the slow place of reform and progress within our society," Mr. Tsvangirai said. "Today, 18 months since the formation of the inclusive government, it is easy to forget the madness of the previous decade. It is easy within the context of frustrated potential to forget exactly what was done to our country, its people and its enormous prospects."

He said the policies of the previous Zanu-PF government were designed to keep it in power.

"For more than 10 years prior to this, public policy was dictated by partisan survival interests," Mr. Tsvangirai said. "Growth was substituted for looting; security was replaced by oppression; inflation destroyed people's pensions, savings and lives."

Mr. Tsvangirai said the road forward for the inclusive government has been difficult, even though most children are back in school with books, hospitals have reopened with medicine, hyper-inflation is gone, and there is far less violence.

"Does this mean that the madness of previous years has been completely eradicated? No! Because we are in a coalition government with those we do not share a common vision of the future," Mr. Tsvangirai said. "The failed policies of the past continue to haunt us. Disdain for the rule of law and property rights continue to undermine our image as a safe investment destination."

He told the conference the present coalition administration is a transitional authority that will take Zimbabwe to a new constitution and fresh elections.

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    Diaa Bekheet

    Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets. He is currently an editor for our main English site, @voajazz