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In Parliament, Zimbabwe's Mugabe Proposes Re-Engagement With West

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, re-opening Parliament on Tuesday, again called for the lifting of travel and financial restrictions imposed on him and some 200 other senior figures in his ZANU-PF party, saying his government is ready to re-engage with the West.

Mr. Mugabe said re-engagement with the European Union is continuing apace and that Harare will continue to seek improved bilateral ties with other Western governments to muster support for the economic reconstruction of the country.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from the Zimbabwean Parliament.

Chief Parliamentary Whip Joram Gumbo of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party told reporter Blessing Zulu that the president's speech was positive for national rebuilding.

Chief Whip Innocent Gonese of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Parliament is set to pass key laws including an amended Mining Act and another law which will refocus the Reserve Bank on monetary policy and financial institution oversight.

Political analyst Philip Pasirayi said President Mugabe must give the West firmer evidence that he is serious about re-engagement and reform - thus far lacking.

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters as he left for Spain Tuesday that the appointment last week of former Media and Information Commission Chairman Tafataona Mahoso to head the Broadcasting Authority was "irregular."

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from Harare.

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