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JUST IN: ZIMBABWE’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Talks Tough From Davos, Switzerland

Filed under : Africa, Entertainment, Politics

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai was interviewed by Sir David Frost, on Frost Over The World a syndicated television interview and news talk show on the Al Jazeera English television channel.

Speaking from Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the 2010 World Economic Forum, Prime Minister Tsvangirai talked about the challenges that face Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement. Though signed nearly a year ago, the power-sharing has been far from straightforward and outstanding issues remain.

This is what stood out for me in the interview:

What has been the progress since swearing in as Prime Minister on February 11th 2009?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: “I can confirm that we have made progress over the last year. I think that it is positive development for the country…the economy had almost literally collapsed… By the end of the year, people have confirmed that for the first time in ten years they have had a good Christmas” [folks now, you know that Christmas is a good gauge of how the economy and how things are in Zimbabwe]

President Mugabe & Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara have called for an end to sanctions against Zimbabwe. Should they be lifted?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: Well the issue of sanctions is neither a ZANU PF nor a Mutambara issue or a Tsvangirai issue. It is a collective issue against the country. We should speak with ONE VOICE on this issue. The only limitation is that there is no reservation about us calling for lifting of sanction provided that the Global Political Agreement is implemented in full. We were hoping that by end of last year these issues would be resolved and that we would all be speaking with one voice on this issue. It is part of the Global Political Agreement.

But President Mugabe has said that his party will make no concessions to yours until sanctions are lifted. What will that mean for the country?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: I am sure that those PRE-CONDITIONS are totally unnecessary. An agreement has been entered into by all parties, VOLUNTARILY. Sanctions and any restrictive measures against the country is part of the COLLECTIVE effort to remove an restrictions against the country. It is not necessary at this stage to back track on the agreement. What he should be talking about is that we want to fulfill all the conditions that have been agreed to in the Global Political Agreement for the country to move forward. This back tracking is unfortunate. We hope that it will not become an albatross to the agreement.

South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma has said that you are the one blocking the progress to talks? You would say that you are not…

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: Well I am not! An agreement was signed by all parties last year… implementation framework and time-lines and that is all that we are asking for. Let’s implement what we have agreed to…what is now left is for the every party to commit themselves to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and that’s not in conflict with the objective of the inclusive government.

You are in Davos, Switzerland promoting investment in Zimbabwe.Why should anyone invest in a country that they are holding sanctions against?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: I am here to clarify the position of Zimbabwe  and that there has been progress in the country. The continued perception of a country that is in a crisis must be removed. It is a public relations act to remove any doubt about where the country is going. If people are convinced to invest in Zimbabwe, they should come. We will call for the removal of any restrictions preventing the country from moving forward.

When do you think you will be ready to say that?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: Final meeting of the negotiations will be on the 8th & 9th [of February]. Let’s see what happens. Certainly at some stage, we all do not believe in sanctions that constrain the country from moving forward.

The terrorism trial of your colleague Roy Bennett going on but the case seems to be collapsing. Do you hope that it will be dropped soon.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: I never believed that Roy Bennett was guilty in the first place. We felt that this was a persecution of a member of the MDC…a White member of the MDC….To us it has been about persecution and not guilt… In the due course of time, State will realize that they do not have a case against him as we have always believed.

In another years’ time do you expect, do you want President Robert Mugabe to still be President of Zimbabwe?

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai: …the 19th Amendment does not specify how long he is going to be President. It only specifies about the duration of the agreement and then going to elections….whether Robert Mugabe is there or not, is immaterial. What is material is the that two parties have agreed to this process.

[Interview with Prime Minister Tsvangirai is the first one…you can skip the rest – smile] Peep the video below…

Um, with all due respect but shouldn’t we address our leaders formally, as in PRIME MINISTER Tsvangirai, Sir Frost?

Yesterday, Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe was one of the speakers for the  ‘Meeting the Millennium Development GoalsÂ’” session in the Congress Centre of the Annual Meeting of the 2010 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Other speakers included Bill Gates (Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Michel Kazatchkine (Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), Jeffrey Sachs (Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals), Helen Clark (Administrator, United Nations Development Programme), Lord Malloch-Brown (Administrator, United Nations Development Programme) and Vikram Akula (Founder and Chairperson, SKS Microfinance, India; Young Global Leader; Global Agenda Council on Poverty & Development Finance).

WATCH: PRIME MINISTER MORGAN TSVANGIRAI addresses the 2010 World Economic World

Photo by Remy Steinegger – World Economic Forum

farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.

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  • Sandy Irimata

    I has been wondering in case you had more resources about the topic