African business, politics and lifestyle
New hope for Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change has agreed to join a unity government with President Robert Mugabe, breaking a crippling deadlock four months after the political rivals reached a power-sharing deal.
The decision could improve Zimbabwe’s prospects of recovering from economic collapse and easing a humanitarian crisis in which more than 60,000 people have been infected by cholera and more than half the population needs food aid.
Zimbabweans have long wished for a new leadership that can ease the world’s highest inflation rate and severe food, fuel and foreign currency shortages. Millions have fled the suffering to neighbouring countries, straining regional economies.
Western aid and financial assistance tied to the creation of a democratic government and economic reform could be crucial to rescuing what was once one of Africa’s most promising countries.
South Africa’s President Kgalema Motlanthe was optimistic and told Reuters in Davos that his country would help rebuild Zimbabwe.
But Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga cast doubt on whether the deal would work and said President Mugabe must go.
Will this decision work? Will it bring change and help ease the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans? What do you think?