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A Conversation with Morgan Tsvangirai

Speaker: Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister, Republic of Zimbabwe
Presider: Margaret Warner, Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
June 10, 2009

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Morgan Tsvangirai told a Council on Foreign Relations meeting on June 10 that Zimbabwe has been undergoing a rapid recovery since he was sworn in as prime minister four months ago. "Zimbabwe is changing," he said in opening remarks (PDF). "Already Zimbabwe is a different place, a significantly better place. As a society, we were near death, and we have come back to life." At the time of his accession to office Zimbabwe was in the throes of deep economic problems coupled with severe political repression. Tsvangirai joined in a power-sharing agreement with longtime President Robert Mugabe late last year.

Tsvangirai said that in his first hundred days the government has managed to lower inflation, institute constitutional reforms, remove riot police from the streets, and increase press freedoms. Among the challenges the country still faces, he said, are restoring agriculture, industrial sectors, and repatriating the country's intellectual talent. He acknowledged that some governments, including the United States, may be reluctant to provide support to Zimbabwe while Mugabe continues to hold power. However, he said he hoped donors would be assured by a new "aid coordination architecture" agreed on by the cabinet to ensure accountability.

In this video highlight, Tsvangirai discusses the challenges of working with his rival in the government and the need for foreign aid and investment to improve Zimbabwe's economic future.


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