Mugabe acrimony over: Tsvangirai

HARARE – Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told the BBC the "acrimony is over" between him and President Robert Mugabe.

He made the remarks ahead of a tour of Europe and the US to garner support for his country’s four-month-old power-sharing government.

He is to meet UK PM Gordon Brown and US President Barack Obama, among others.

Zimbabwe needs $45bn (£28bn) in the next five years to revive an economy mauled by years of political conflict.

Zimbabwe’s unity government between the former bitter enemies was inaugurated in February, ending months of political crisis following disputed elections.  

Earlier this week the European Union authorised $11m (£7m) in humanitarian aid for Zimbabwe.

But most Western donors have said they will only reopen their purses for Zimbabwe when they see evidence of genuine power-sharing, an end to farm seizures and a restoration of the rule of law.

Ahead of his trip this weekend, Prime Minister Tsvangirai told the BBC: "The objective is to demonstrate that Zimbabwe’s inclusive government is ready to engage the world and secondly to see whether there could be opportunities for transitional support.

"We hope that the incremental gains we have made so far will convince even the most sceptical to ensure that this government is consolidated."

Speaking at the Elephant Hills Golf Course in Victoria Falls on Thursday morning, he conceded that challenges remained on the "emotive issue" of farm seizures.

But he insisted the unity government would stabilise the situation, adding: "It’s a work in progress."

On his relationship with Mr Mugabe, the Zimbabwean premier said: "It’s a workable relationship; if we have differences they are expressed in a respectable way. We do appreciate that the period of acrimony is over."

MDC leader Mr Tsvangirai struck a less upbeat tone last weekend during a party convention when he told supporters the rule of law had still not been restored and warned that Zimbabweans still feared political persecution.