Be Patient With Zimbabwe On Reforms – MP

MDC-T legislator Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has urged the international community to extend financial support to Zimbabwe to speed up the reform process.

She said this last week during a meeting with Ms Anniken Huitfeldt, the chairperson of Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence of Norway’s Parliament.

Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga said there was need for patience while the country implemented its reforms.

“If at an economic level things are difficult for Government, it’s difficult to push a reform agenda,” she said.

“If Government is constantly wanting to close this one; there is a strike from doctors, there is a strike from teachers, there is civil disobedience because people are hungry; you push that Government into a corner, then its unable to deal with reform issues.

“So when you look at the Staff Monitored Programme (SMP) that is coming from the IMF and World Bank, they have specific issues that they want Government to do; don’t increase your salaries, don’t increase your expenditure and that on its own creates problems on the ground.”

Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who met the Norwegian MP in her capacity as acting chairperson of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, added that until the international community decides to support the reform process, not much traction will be realised.

She said the support could target social protection, adding that countries which have undergone reforms including Egypt, Rwanda and Greece, have benefited from international support.

“There is no country which has done reforms without international support and in this country nothing of that sort has happened,” she said.

Ms Huitfeldt said she was in Zimbabwe to assess the situation on the ground.

She will be engaging various political players and civil society,” she said.

Ms Huitfeldt added that Zimbabwe was a beautiful country and urged Government to continue with its reforms.