It's Good News, Says Tsvangirai: Zimbabwe's New Inclusive Government Is Doing Very Well, Says Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. "We Have Reopened Schools, We Have Reopened Hospitals, We Have Reduced Inflation to Almost 3%, We Have Stocked Shops with Plenty of Food and Other Goods. the History of Acrimony and Polarisation Is Behind Us," He Told Ntandoyenkosi Ncube in an Interview for New African
Q: What progress has the unity government made so far?
A: It is a positive development. We are very satisfied with the performance of the government. There have been some incremental gains--we have reopened schools, we have reopened hospitals, we have reduced inflation to almost 3%, we have stocked shops with plenty of food and other goods. So Zimbabweans see this as a positive step and they are cautiously optimistic.
Q: How would you describe the relationship between you, President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara?
A: Well, our relationship is a workable one. We have very productive discussions. Where we have problems, we sit down and iron out our differences. We may not necessarily agree but certainly there is room for engagement, for disagreeing, for discussion, and for dialogue. To me that is the most productive relationship in terms of ensuring that this coalition government works, and works for the people of Zimbabwe. The history of acrimony and polarisation is behind us. We've passed that.
Q: What challenges are there now?
A: The challenges are many, mostly economic, but there are also political challenges. We still have outstanding issues under discussion and on which we are making slow progress. The slow pace sometimes affects the confidence of the people because they see it as a reluctance on the part of some of the co-signatories of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to implement the agreement. But I think that the biggest challenge is the economy and how to get the necessary financial support and credit lines to make our businesses work again.
Q: Talking about the constitution, we still have some laws like AIPPA and POSA, are we likely to see reforms in that regard?
A: Absolutely. Part of the legislative reforms will be freeing up the media and repealing AIPPA to ensure that we create an environment that allows the media to operate without any restriction. A commission will be set up to look at how to open up the radio sector and allow other voices in the media to be heard. I think that is a very positive step.
Q: There is some disagreement between your government and some NGOs regarding how the constitutional process should go forward; what is your view?
A: There is no disagreement about the need for a people-driven constitutional process. But you must understand that this process is born out of the agreement between the political parties. We have never argued against broader participation by civic society groups or anyone. We don't want to exclude anyone. No one but the people of Zimbabwe will determine the constitution the country needs.
Q: You have called for farm seizures to stop and you have instructed the police to deal with perpetrators. …