Tsvangirai urges the West to fund power-sharing government

February 23rd, 2009 - 3:11 am ICT by IANS  

Harare, Feb 23 (DPA) Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Sunday made an impassioned appeal to the international community to fund the country’s new coalition government, calling the situation in the hunger- and disease-wracked country “dire”.
Speaking at his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Gweru, about 300 km south-west of Harare, Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe had to “borrow and beg” for aid to turn around the battered economy.

“Please be in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said, appealing to international donors.

On a visit to South Africa Friday, Tsvangirai had estimated the long-term cost of rebuilding Zimbabwe after a decade of severe misrule at up to $5 billion.

Tsvangirai’s appeal followed the arrival of a top-level United Nations humanitarian delegation Saturday. The UN team is in Zimbabwe for five days to assess the country’s cholera and food crises with a view to mobilising funding.

Close to 4,000 people have died since last August in the cholera epidemic that was sparked by the breakdown of sewage and water supply systems, and around seven million of an estimated 11 million Zimbabweans require food aid.

Tsvangirai agreed to take his party into government with President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s longtime leader, earlier this month to try to help steer a turnaround.

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