Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: ACTSA Position Paper - January 2010

Attachments

February 2010 will mark the anniversary of the formation of an inclusive government for Zimbabwe.

ACTSA

1. Welcomes the start that has been made by the Unity Government in Zimbabwe on resolving some of the country's desperate problems, but recognises that much more still needs to change; 2. Is deeply concerned about the harassment and other difficulties facing political, trade union and other civil society activists and organisations, and expresses its continuing solidarity with all those affected; 3. Understands the need for caution by outside countries such as the UK in offering financial and other support to government structures in Zimbabwe because of the risk of exacerbating problems rather than resolving them; 4. Believes, however, that much more could be done by the UK and other governments, on a step-by-step basis, to fund the restoration of basic services through Zimbabwe's state structures and that this could greatly strengthen the hand of those working for the restoration of democracy and human rights as well as beginning to meet the desperate needs of the country's people; The Inclusive Government agreed to by the Global Political Agreement was formed in February 2009. It has been at best an uneasy coalition where the main political parties have come together but there is still great disagreement and little trust.

Changes

There have been changes and improvements: most notably on the economy. Zimbabwe now has two currencies neither of them its own; the US Dollar or the South African Rand. Inflation has ceased. Some parts of the economy are functioning. There are goods again in shops but most are at prices beyond the reach of the Zimbabwean who does not have access to foreign currency. There is increased food availability. It is currently estimated approx three million Zimbabweans will need food aid in 2010 as compared to seven million in 2009. The health and education services have been working better than for some time albeit from a low base. Whilst there are still controls on local media, the international media such as the BBC and CNN have been allowed to freely report from Zimbabwe again. There are still human rights violations although the human rights situation is better than it was.