26 April 2012

Zimbabwe: GNU Can Only Go So Far - PM

Photo: IRIN
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, left, and President Robert Mugabe.

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says the coalition government is not capable of adequately addressing "massive unemployment and poverty" currently plaguing the country.

He told an international business conference in Bulawayo on Wednesday that only a legitimately elected government could solve Zimbabwe's problems.

"This coalition has achieved a lot in the last three years, but our experience has shown that only a legitimately elected government, and not a coalition, can develop and implement a common vision and programmes that will deal with the massive unemployment and poverty that Zimbabwe currently faces," said Tsvangirai.

President Robert Mugabe has been pushing for elections this year to end the coalition government, but Tsvangirai says free and fair elections can only be possible after a raft of political reforms to create the necessary environment.

Tsvangirai projected himself as part of a new crop of African leaders who must "consign repression and misgovernance to the dustbins and create a new society with a new ethos and new values that poise us for peace, stability, investment and growth".

He told delegates on Wednesday there were sharp policy differences within the coalition government. "Some of us want to nurture that potential and we have publicly differed with those policies that do not address job creation or send the correct message to investors. We say no to all forms of machinations that seek to destroy the national wealth. We endeavour to grow the national cake in a just, equitable and sustainable manner by focusing more on creating new wealth while preserving and growing existing wealth," he said, in apparent reference to the controversial indigenisation drive.

"This is the true spirit of a national empowerment policy that every well-meaning Zimbabwean should be pursuing."

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, left, and President Robert Mugabe.

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