Give Zimbabwe a chance, says Motlanthe

Cape Town – South African President Kgalema Motlanthe on Friday lauded Zimbabwe's new government and again called on Western countries to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe.\r\n

Speaking at the swearing-in of Zimbabwe’s new Cabinet in Harare, he congratulated Zimbabwe’s political leadership on "this great achievement".

"Allow me to reiterate that today’s occasion represents a significant milestone for this country, the region and the continent.

"The inclusive government that is being inaugurated today will give impetus to the march towards national reconciliation, economic recovery, and the reconstruction and development of Zimbabwe," Motlanthe said.

It allowed the new government to immediately embark on a comprehensive programme to tackle the challenges facing the country in areas such as health, education and agriculture.

"It is the beginning of a long and arduous journey. There is an immeasurable trust and confidence placed in your abilities to lead the people of Zimbabwe, in their forward march to rebuild the country," he said.

Zimbabweans, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Unions and the international community were optimistic that Friday’s event would usher in the beginning of a new era in Zimbabwe; an era that would lead to improved socio-economic conditions for all its citizens.

"We congratulate all Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have just been sworn in. The people of Zimbabwe have pinned their hopes on you and are looking up to you to provide leadership."

South Africa was ready to help Zimbabwe in the process of rebuilding the economy.

"Allow me also to use this momentous occasion to reiterate our call on the United States government, United Kingdom and other European Union governments to immediately lift sanctions against Zimbabwe to facilitate the flow of aid to the country," Motlanthe said. – Sapa