Pressure is mounting on South African President Thabo Mbeki to refuse Zimbabwe’s request for a massive loan unless Harare agrees to sweeping reforms.
Critics of the Mbeki government are slamming plans to financially bail out Harare after Mr. Mbeki said Sunday that it would be necessary to prevent an economic collapse in Zimbabwe that would leave South Africa with a much larger problem.
Mr. Mbeki confirmed on Sunday that his cabinet is contemplating a loan to ZImbabwe to allow Harare to catch up on its arrears to the International Monetary Fund, and to purchase fuel and food, increasingly scarce commodities in the country. Unofficial reports have set the amount of the loan sought by Harare at $1 billion.
Reporter Bernard Mandizvidza in Johannesburg filed on the controversy in South Africa with VOA’s Studio 7 for ZImbabwe.