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Verdict Mixed on Zimbabwe Unity Government Six Months On, Observers Say

The six-month anniversary of the formation of Zimbabwe's national unity government arrived this week without much fanfare, upstaged by the burial of Vice President Joseph Msika.

Among those taking note of the six-month milestone was the Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism, or CISOMM for short, which issued a report saying that most of the expectations of ordinary Zimbabweans have not been met by the so-called inclusive government formed by President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The civic group is tracking the government’s performance on the economy, constitutional reform, freedom of expression, human rights and in other key areas.

It said progress has been too slow on the reform front, that distrust among political players has not been dispelled, little action has been taken to address and heal last year’s political violence and too little has been done to revive the agricultural sector.

For perspective on the unity government's accomplishments and failures, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to CISOMM Coordinator Dzimbabwe Chimbga of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, and economic transition expert Richard Richard Kamidza of the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa.

Despite the government’s shortcomings, Chimbga noted there has been a marked improvement in the country's socio-economic environment.

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