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Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai, Seeking Funds, Must Overcome Western Skepticism

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called on the international community to back his national unity government with funding not only for economic reconstruction as well as humanitarian assistance, but the United States and Europe have made clear they want to see reform in areas ranging from human rights to governance to economic policy.

Addressing thousands of supporters on Sunday in Gweru, the capital of Midlands province, Tsvangirai said the national unity government he has formed with President Robert Mugabe is the only way out of the crisis for the country, but Zimbabwe will need help.

Tsvangirai was also marking the tenth anniversary of the founding of his Movement for Democratic Change, which in 2006 splintered into two formations but nonetheless claimed a parliamentary majority in the March 2008 general election.

South African President Kgalema Motlanthe has signaled Pretoria is ready to fund Zimbabwe's turnaround, but such help could be slow coming from Western donors, said Roger Bate, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington.

Bate told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is unrealistic to think Zimbabwe's new government could be funded with no strings attached.

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