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Africa
Zimbabwe PM admits lack of progress
Morgan Tsvangirai says efforts to restore freedoms and rule of law have failed.
Last Modified: 31 May 2009 17:00 GMT
Mugabe, left, and Tsvangirai are uneasy partners in a coalition cabinet which took office in February [AFP]

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's prime minister, has said that his efforts to restore democratic freedoms and the rule of law to Zimbabwe have so far failed.

Tsvangirai made the comments on Saturday at his party's annual convention, blaming supporters of Robert Mugabe, the president, for frustrating progress.

Tsvangirai said his party remained committed to democratic ideals, but said there were severe problems still to be addressed.

"It is these ideals that show me that we have not yet succeeded in restoring the rule of law, that our people do not live free from fear, hunger and poverty," he said.

"Our state media remains partisan and prejudiced, freedom of association is not yet a right that all can enjoy."

'Political persecution'

Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader, brought his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party into a coalition government with Mugabe in February to end the country's long political deadlock and economic collapse.

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He said progress was "being undermined by those that are threatened by the democratic changes contained in the global political agreement"

"Our members continue to be the victims of political persecution,'' he said.

Despite the tensions threatening the unity government, Tsvangirai has shown no sign that he will pull his party out of the coalition in protest.

He said there were limitations to what he could do as prime minister in the coalition government with an uneasy sharing of power.

"We are in a coalition with [Mugabe's] ZANU-PF," Tsvangirai said.

"The MDC is in government but we are not the government

"Those in government will tell you this government is walking on a thin thread."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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