Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

Europe

Tsvangirai in Paris on final leg of fundraising tour

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-24

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is due in Paris after visiting London on a mission to solicit Western aid to rebuild his country's economy. Tsvangirai told potential donors that he has a working relationship with President Robert Mugabe.

REUTERS - Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday he had formed a working relationship with Robert Mugabe and saw scope for the long-serving president eventually to make a dignified exit from power.

 

Tsvangirai joined a unity government with rival Mugabe in February to end a political and economic crisis. Mugabe has ruled the southern African country since independence from Britain in 1980 and critics say he has ruined a once prosperous nation.

 

"It's too early to say I trust him wholly, but where we differ, we differ respectfully," Tsvangirai told an audience after a speech in London.

 

"I'm prepared to work with him for the good of the country," added Tsvangirai, who said in 2007 he had been beaten at a police station after he was arrested at an anti-Mugabe rally.

 

Asked whether Mugabe might make a "dignified exit", Tsvangirai said the transition process provided a platform for him to go quietly, adding that Mugabe had the chance to restore his legacy as a founding father of Zimbabwe.

 

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have agreed on an 18-month timetable for political reforms, with a referendum on a new constitution to be held in little over a year.

 
 
Seeking aid
 

Tsvangirai is on the final leg of a tour to Europe and the United States to drum up cash from Western donors, but the trip has yielded only small contributions towards the $10 billion Zimbabwe says it needs to rebuild its shattered economy.

 

Most donors are choosing to channel money through charities or U.N. agencies rather than give it to a government where Mugabe still wields influence.

 

Tsvangirai said the money received was sufficient to support basic services like health, education and food production.

 

"I think it's quite substantial," he told reporters.

 

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe had made huge strides since the unity government was formed in February.

 

"Zimbabwe has become a totally different place, a significantly better place, in the past four months," he said.

 

"As a society, we were near death, and we have come back to life."

 

That echoed comments from the minister for economic planning who told Reuters on Tuesday that Zimbabwe's economy had turned around, with employment and industrial capacity use doubling and once record-breaking inflation under control.

 

But back at home, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party said police were arresting its legislators and senior party members, while public media had increased hostile reporting to discredit and undermine the prime minister.

 

Senior MDC official Tapiwa Mashakada said Southern African leaders could meet next month to mediate in what the party says are continued violations by Mugabe's ZANU-PF of a political pact signed last year.

 

Zimbabwe remains subject to Western sanctions. Britain denied Zimbabwe's mines minister a visa for a mining investment conference in London, angering ZANU-PF.

 

Tsvangirai said he hoped sanctions could be removed if Zimbabwe proved it was committed to political reform.

 

"Eventually sanctions must be removed. It would be counter-productive to punish progress," he said.

 

Date created : 2009-06-24

COMMENT(S)