Tsvangirai tells exiles to come home

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called on Zimbabweans living in Britain to “come home” and help in the country’s redevelopment, the Daily Telegraph said on Saturday.

Tsvangirai, who is in Britain on a tour of Europe and the United States to woo financial support, said the country had achieved a lot since his Movement for Democratic Change entered a unity government with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe four months ago.

He urged the estimated one million Zimbabweans living in Britain to help rebuild his country.

“The government needs these professionals,” he was quoted in the paper as saying.

“And we also need whatever savings they made to help economic development. It is time to come home.”

Tsvangirai also called on the international community to support Zimbabwe through financial aid.

“We need support if we are to avoid sliding back to where we were,” he said.

“I am telling these leaders that I need to re-establish Zimbabwe’s relations with the outside world—we must be part of the community of nations again and not a pariah state.”

He pointed to inflation having been brought down and the re-opening of schools and hospitals.

Inflation has been helped by the adoption of the US dollar, replacing the Zimbabwe dollar.

But Britain on Friday said it was too early to lift sanctions against its former colony.

Africa minister Mark Malloch-Brown, writing in the Times newspaper, said: “We will not lift the bulk of these measures until we are convinced that Zimbabwe’s transition to democracy has reached a point of no return.”

He said political activists were being harassed and farm seizures were continuing.

Tsvangirai, who has been charged with treason in the past, said he had a “workable relationship” with Mugabe, describing him as an important part of the “transitional solution”.

“In fact, he is an indispensable, irreplaceable, part of the transition,” he was quoted as saying “It is a workable relationship, surprisingly. Yes, I am actually surprised.” - Reuters


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