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Zimbabwe Exceeds Target of US$1 Billion Recovery Credits, But Still Cash-Poor

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Wednesday officially launched his government’s 100-day action plan for economic revival, but warned that “residual elements" of the former government are putting the country’s recovery in jeopardy.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported from Harare.

Planning Minister Elton Mangoma said the government has raised more than the US$1 billion in redevelopment credits it sought from African partners, but added that it is still struggling to raise cash to support ongoing government operations.

Mangoma said pledges exceeding US1 billion have come from the African Development Bank, the African Export-Import Bank and the Southern African Development Community.

But he said Harare has only brought in US$35 million from South Africa and China to meet its current expenses. International donors have been reluctant to directly fund the national unity government installed in February, saying more proof of serious reform is needed.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, in Senegal for the annual meeting of the African Development Bank, said Harare urgently needs US$200 million to pay civil servants who recently issued a threat to go out on strike, or the national revival could falter and fail.

Africa representative Thomas Deve of the United Nations Millennium Development goals office, also at the Dakar meeting, told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Harare is likely to get more help from the ADB.

Despite its progress on the economy, Tsvangirai's government faces greater challenges on the political front, said Ozias Tungwarara, director of the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project in Johannesburg, but he added that in just three months the struggling government has inspired new hope in most ordinary Zimbabweans.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...