Zim will deal with its challenges, move forward

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Harare - Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe says the country's new inclusive government will soon deal with obstacles standing in its way as it charts the way forward.

Speaking at a state banquet held in honour of visiting Zambian President Rupiah Banda in Harare on Wednesday, President Mugabe said it was normal that challenges would be faced in the inclusive government.

"We may experience a few teething problems in the process. This is normal in an arrangement of this nature. However, we have put mechanisms to deal with such problems and I am confident that these problems will soon be behind us," he said.

Zimbabwe's inclusive government, which is made up of the country's top political parties, the President's Zanu PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and a smaller MDC faction, was formed in February.

It has made recognisable progress in addressing socio-economic challenges that the country has battled with in the last decade but there are issues in their Global Political Agreement signed last year which are still to be resolved.

The issues include the appointment of senior government officials such as permanent secretaries of ministries, ambassadors as well as the contentious appointments of central bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.

President Mugabe, however, said leaders of parties in the new administration remained determined to ensure the success of the transitional unity government.

He also reiterated calls for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries.

"With the signing of the Global Political Agreement and the formation of the inclusive government, one finds it difficult to understand the motivation of those who are still intent on punishing Zimbabwe," he said.

The President said Zimbabwe "remains forever grateful" to Zambia for its unrelenting support for the country.

President Banda, who is in the country to open the 50th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo on Thursday, said it was important that Zimbabwe's inclusive government be rendered the necessary assistance to ensure its success and the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe remained a major impediment to progress.

"The lifting of sanctions will help facilitate the implementation of the economic recovery programme," he said, adding that Zambia was committed to contributing to Zimbabwe 's Short Term Economic Recovery Programme (STERP), the inclusive government's economic blueprint.

President Banda said Zambia would continue to support Zimbabwe in spite of the global economic crisis. There was need for the two countries, which faced the same challenges of under-development and high levels of poverty, to improve bilateral co-operation.