Zimbabwean opposition figure Arthur Mutambara, head of one formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, urged the international community Wednesday to expand aid to curb the cholera epidemic ravaging the country, and urged the formation of a unity government to respond to the humanitarian emergency even if all political issues are not resolved.
As correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported, Mutambara criticized President Robert Mugabe and MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai, prime minister-designate in the unity government that was to have been formed under a Sept. 15 power-sharing pact, for continuing to dispute cabinet posts and government powers while the Zimbabwean people suffer.
Despite mounting pressure to join a unity government, Tsvangirai told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe thathe will not do this unless there is true power sharing between Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF and his MDC, despite the humanitarian crisis.
The statements from Mutambara and Tsvangirai came as former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said Zimbabwe was well on its way to becoming a failed state.
“Due to the abject failure of its leadership, (Zimbabwe) is now moving rapidly to becoming a full-blown failed state,” Annan said in comments at the Hague. He urged the international community to do more to prevent fragile states from becoming failed states.
Annan, recently barred by Harare from entering the country to assess its humanitarian needs with colleagues from the Elders, said the collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector means a country that used to export food to its neighbors can no longer feed its own people.
Tsvangirai told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that launching a unity government would be no panacea for the country’s woes.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...