Graca says Zimbabwe 'progressing'

2010-11-18 07:39

Harare - The wife of South Africa's Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, praised on Wednesday progress in Zimbabwe since last year's formation of a compromise government to ease a political and economic crisis.

"I have been impressed by the progress made in Zimbabwe," Machel said at a media conference after a two-day mission as part of a United Nations children's fund (Unicef) project.

"The level of commitment by the inclusive government to improve the wellbeing of children under difficult circumstances and with very limited resources is amazing and highly commendable.

"Despite all the challenges, the capacity in this country exists. Whatever challenges, progress is here," she said.

Machel noted in particular improvement in the availability of food and in the education and health sectors.

"Agriculture is being revitalised, you find more and more smallholder families growing food. Agriculture and food production is being revitalised," Machel said.

The UN said in August that about 1.7 million Zimbabweans would require food aid. The country has experienced a decade of acute food shortages, brought on by drought and President Robert Mugabe's crippling land reform programme.

New constitution

Its political and economic crisis eased last year after political rivals Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government.

The economy has meanwhile stabilised after the government adopted the US dollar after offloading the worthless local dollar.

A new constitution is being drafted to pave way for fresh elections.

Zimbabwe refused entry to Machel and a group of former presidents and world leaders called the Elders who had planned to visit in November 2008 to assess the humanitarian situation.

"The country felt at that time that it was not the right time for us to come," Machel said of the blocked visit. "It is a prerogative of the country to welcome people."

The latest Unicef mission was to assess progress in the promotion of children's rights and to review the constitution-making process.

  • Stefanus - 2010-11-18 08:47

    Did you at least go shopping with Grace?

  • Rick - 2010-11-18 09:37

    You must be joking, Graca.

  • foster.mavuka - 2010-11-18 10:35

    She is not joking and why going shopping with Grace. Back off yu haters From Mirambwi

  • Francois - 2010-11-18 21:45

    Dear Graca and Foster. Can you please help me with the facts. On a daily basis the white racists newspapers put out news on how Robert Hitlersnor Mugabe violates the GPA and how violence against MDC supporters are committed. Those racist pigs also tells us of the abuse of people in the new found diamond fields. It also says that Mugabe still has not made the appointment that the GPA stated he must do. Now you come and you tell a total different story and based on your high sense of integrity and guts - you must be correct. Can you please take the white papers to court and sue them for misleading the public or can you please shut up. Everybody including Robert Hitlersnor Mugabe knows Zimbabwe is a disasster. Everybody knows that innocent people got tortured, killed and raped and that includes children. And you are sitting here making a claim racism or hate or that it is going fine. Please stand up for the truth or is it okay when a black woman is raped in Zimbabwe to ensure that a regime change does not happen? Or maybe she is just joking - someone in government please tell us the truth and please have respect for our neighbours. Racist Mbeki that does not include you - you are not in government anymore and you think white people born in this country is foreign, but Zimmers are not and it is okay for you to be friends with Bob. Someone else please stand up and say no more.

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