Unity govt 'on track' - Tsvangirai


Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said his unity government with president Robert Mugabe was on the right track, despite their differences.

Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai will tomorrow hold what the MDC says will be the last round of talks on outstanding issues from a power-sharing deal such as new appointments of the central bank governor and the attorney-general.

If they are not resolved the MDC's national council will meet to decide on the party's next step.

Any crisis in the new government could make it even harder for Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Mugabe to get help from sceptical Western donors, who want to see political and economic reforms before pouring money in to help rescue Zimbabwe's shattered economy.

"It is only 100 days so far, but this government has consolidated. We have our problems, who doesn't? Some people are not happy with everything that's happening," Mr Tsvangirai told South Africa's Sunday Timesin an interview.

"But sceptics are now the minority. The majority believe we are on the right track and I believe so myself."

Eighteen opposition activists arrested on terrorism charges were released on bail on Wednesday. Their indictment and imprisonment brought new tension to the unity government.

Failed talks tomorrow could threaten the power-sharing agreement. But Mr Tsvangirai did not seem very concerned.

"I have been disappointed at the slow pace on (the agreement). But that deadline is set by my party - we have worked through all that. We have viewed (Mr Mugabe's) approach as a delaying tactic," he said.

The southern African country has said it requires $8.3 billion to rebuild an economy ravaged by years of hyper-inflation and contraction.

Although much of the funding is expected to come from Western donors, Zimbabwean officials are looking to raise about $1 billion from the African continent.