African leaders present multi-billion dollar plan for Zimbabwe
By Miriam Mannak
Zimbabwe has not had a lot of luck over the past years. Political oppression, violence, government led terrorism, cholera, hunger, poverty and total economic collapse have crippled the country until a point it can barely crawl. To fix the problems, the members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have come up with and approved a rescue and reconstruction plan worth 8,6 billion USD.
The plan included 2 billion USD in short term aid, to kick start the collapsed economy which has been dominated by hyper inflation and staggering food prices.
One of the problems of the plan lies in the fact that the governments that form SADC (including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Angola) will not raise the bulk of the money that is needed to put the plans into practice themselves.
Instead, they will try to mobilise international donors and financial institutions such as the IMF.
One of the problems is that many donors are sceptical about Zimbabwe and its leader Robert Mugabe. The United States has for instance said that it is not in a hurry to lift its sanctions against Zimbabwe until it sees real signs of change in the way Mugabe deals with his political opponents.
Meanwhile. Zimbabwe is still struggling with the cholera outbreak. Over the past months, over 99.000 people were infected with the disease and over 4000 lives were lost. The eppidemic is a direct result of mismanagement of the country, which together with an economic meltdown led to severe deterioration of the health system.