President Robert Mugabe, reopening parliament Tuesday, said the unity government has made great progress despite what he called undermining by Zimbabwe’s detractors, charging that the nation’s attempts to leverage its diamond resources for economic development were being undermined by parties hostile to the country.
VOA Harare correspndent, Thomas Chiripasi reports that has Mr Mugabe in his remarks anticipated the policy review speech by finance minister Tendai Biti coming up Wednesday, saying projections for growth this year have been reduced to 5.4% from 7.7% initially.
Mr. Mugabe tied the country’s economic plight to the Kimberly Process deliberations on whether to certify diamonds from Marange.
He said the country will sell them with or without the blessing of the Kimberly Process. Government sources meanwhile say a showdown is looming between Mr. Mugabe and Biti, who is the secretary general of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s formation of the Movement for Democratic Change.
Source say he will urge compliance with Kimberly, resolution of litigation and an end to judicial pursuit of Marange whistle-blower Farai Maguwu. The response to Mr. Mugabe’s speech predictably fell along party lines – praise from Zanu-PF MPs and reservations by MDC parliamentarians.
Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe’s was inspired. He says thre party supports defying the KP.
But Thabitha Khumalo of the MDC says Mr Mugabe's speech shoes he is out of touch.
Economic analyst Lance Mambondiani says Mr Mugabe’s growth forecast is realistic as Harare is relying mostly on donour funds.