Zim must play by the rules

HARARE - France's willingness to resume direct government-to-government co-operation with Zimbabwe before the end of the year must have come as a great relief for the cash-strapped administration of President Robert Mugabe.

France as part of the European Union (EU) has been funnelling humanitarian aid through the EU Fund.

France now says should Harare be agreeable it will lend a helping hand on a government-to-government basis.

But does the Zimbabwe government have a choice? Certainly not!

Despite the government declaring a look east policy, Mugabe erstwhile friends, the Chinese, have turned down his request for budgetary aid.

The problem stems from Mugabe’s failure to repay debts.

A number of projects with the Chinese are being funded through mortgaged mineral rights, including the defence college.

It is important that the Zimbabwean economy receives the oxygen it needs from Western countries which have traditionally, before the sanctions, supported Harare.

French donor community is keen to give support to Mugabe government and this is no bluffing.

The EU has signalled its intent to give aid to struggling local industries while the looming Africa Euro summit to be held in Brussels at the end of the month, holds so much promise for a country suffering from self-induced economic and governance problems.

A Zimbabwean diamond auction was recently held in Antwerp, Belgium, as part of lifting off the veil of suspicion on the Marange diamonds.

If Mugabe and company are willing to shake off the tag of defiance which haslong been held against the Harare administration, a fillip could be on the horizon.

The Zimbabwe government now owes $10 billion to the Bretton-Woods institutions and the World Bank and the IMF have been reluctant to write off the debt.

In his weekend speech Mugabe told his ministers to stop blaming sanctions for the failure to pay civil servants’ promised increments.

The sanctions mantra has finally expired and must be replaced by the realisation that Zanu PF has been its own worst enemy.

It is high time we played by the rules to win back the confidence of the international community and continental institutions.

It’s time for Mugabe to ditch moribund policies and crack the whip to align Zimbabwe with progressive forces that have been willing to help but at a price.

Good governance, rule of law and respect of property rights are what progressive countries exhibit.

We need the world and the world needs us.

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