Mugabe to Donors: We Do Not Need Your Help

Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe. Photo by: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe stressed that his country does not need financial assistance from the West and that the African nation “shall recover by her wits and resources.”

“Zimbabwe will not be saved by any country or organization, least of all Western,” Mugabe said during a central committee meeting of his party, ZANU-PF, in Harare.

Western donors said they wanted to see tangible political reforms first before restoring diplomatic ties with Zimbabwe. They demanded a power sharing agreement with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after the political crisis brought about by the disputed 2008 elections.

Of Zimbabwe’s USD2.25 billion budget, at least USD810 million come from external sources, the Daily Nation on the Web reports.

Mugabe is confident that Zimbabwe can stand on its own.

“Let our partners in the inclusive government get that so that we do not waste our efforts on useless initiatives,” he said.

Zimbabwe was once a prosperous agro-based economy but the trend was reversed when militants invaded white-owned commercial farms. Today, half of Zimbabwe’s population depends on food aid, according to Reuters Africa.

Meanwhile, despite Mugabe’s stand against foreign assistance, Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe said donors could soon approve a large-scale international financing package for the repair of Zimbabwe’s infrastructure and revival of its economy.

Khupe is the vice president of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change. She expressed hope that another election will be held by the end of 2011, an election that she expects MDC to win.

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    Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.