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Zimbabwe Civil Society Differs on Debt Relief for Harare

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Group of Eight partners Wednesday that the government of Zimbabwe should be deprived of aid, and described President Robert Mugabe a “dictator.” Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai meanwhile was asking the G-8 leaders to put out a strong message on Zimbabwe.

Yet some Zimbabwean civil society groups have come together under the umbrella of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty to say Harare should halt debt repayments and that G-8 nations are immoral to press for debt service from the poor.

A leader of the advocacy group, Thomas Deve, notes that Zimbabwe has slid into the category of a Least Developed Country over the past five years, and that now 80% of its people live on less than one U.S. dollar a day, versus 50 percent in 2000.

Spokesperson Fambai Ngirande of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations makes the case for debt relief for Zimbabwe to reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe.

But a very different view is held by Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, the chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly and organizer of the Broad Coalition of civic and political groups opposing the government’s ongoing demolition operations.

Dr. Madhuku told Carole Gombakomba why the Group of Eight in his opinion should not extend debt relief to Harare.