Tsvangirai Laments Lack Of Progress In The Unity Government

“It is unfortunate that one year after the formation of the inclusive government, we are still talking about talks, outstanding issues and implementation of the power sharing deal…instead of focusing our energies on economic revival programmes,” Tsvangirai said in his opening address of a business conference held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

The ZITF, held under the theme, “Unlocking Our Investment Potential”, runs up to Saturday. Iran President, Mahmoud Ahmajinejad is set to officially open it on Friday.

A unity government formed last year between Tsvangirai and long time ruler, President Robert Mugabe, has managed to tame hyper inflation after the adoption of foreign currencies and stabilised the economy, but there has been slow progress in political, media and constitutional reforms.

Tsvangirai, speaking at the ZITF business conference, that was also attended by Vice President Joice Mujuru, among other government ministers, bemoaned massive corruption in the mining sector, which he said, was derailing the revival of the sector, which had over the years been battered by the economic slide.

“There is too much corruption in the mining industry, smuggling of minerals is rampant and this is one of the reasons why the mining sector is failing to contribute a lot to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

The country produced less than six metric tonnes of gold in 2008, while at the height of the colonial era boom in southern Africa, the former British colony mined about 29 metric tonnes.

The Chamber of Mines recently said the mining sector, despite being hard hit by power outages, is showing a sign of improvement, with estimates saying the sector is expected to make up to 40 percent of the GDP.