Mujuru takes Zanu PF begging bowl to the UN

Addressing a U.N. conference on the global financial crisis, Vice President Joice Mujuru said no conditions should be attached to such a package.

The southern African country says it needs $10 billion to rebuild dilapidated infrastructure and ease 90 percent unemployment.

But a three-week tour of the United States and Europe by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who shares power with President Robert Mugabe, has yielded mainly promises of aid only when Zimbabwe creates a democracy and improves human rights after what critics say was Mugabe’s repressive rule.

Since the new unity government took office in February, inflation has fallen rapidly from its once astronomical 200 million percent after an effective dollarization of the economy.

Mujuru said lack of access to financial resources had hit the country’s agriculture and social services, threatening attainment of U.N. anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals.

Fluctuating commodity prices has slowed down mining and lack of investment has hurt businesses, decreasing tax collection, Mujuru said.

"This situation is now seriously undermining progress by our inclusive government … to turn around our economy," she said. "The lack of external support now threatens the success of our short-term economic recovery program."

"I therefore take this opportunity to urge the international community to support Zimbabwe, by providing the country with a financial stimulus package to enable us to mitigate and offset the economic and financial crisis," she told delegates from more than 100 countries.

Such packages should be designed to fit the priorities of recipient countries, Mujuru said, adding: "As an honest broker, the U.N. system should be the first to take a stand against conditional aid."