After giving 200 million kroner to aid the democratic process and long term development in Zimbabwe, the development minister, Christian Friis Bach (Radikale), has now given an additional 40 million kroner to Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Tendai Biti, after Biti’s visit to Denmark, according to Politiken newspaper.
Since 2009 the country has had a split government, in which Biti is part of the reform-friendly wing, and the financial aid is intended to help Zimbabwe complete its new constitution and to assist democratic procedures for an election slated for later this year.
The way to democracy in Zimbabwe seems long, especially as the 88 year-old Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe refuses to give up his presidential post. In 2008 he was defeated by Morgan Tsvangirai, but refused to leave. In spite of this fact, Zimbabwe’s finance minister remained positive.
“You can fight against a dictator. The Egyptians didn’t say: ‘Oh, Mubarak is a great dictator, we can’t do anything’; the Libyans didn’t say: ‘Oh, Gaddafi is a great dictator, we can’t do anything’; the Syrians didn’t say: ‘Assad is a great dictator, we can’t do anything’. They looked the dictator directly into the eyes without blinking,” Biti told Politiken.
But to do confront Mugabe, Biti said, the Zimbabweans need financial support, an assertion that Bach agreed with.
”We should support the democratic powers when they take a step in the right direction, like what we see in Zimbabwe,” Bach said.
The Danish government already granted Zimbabwe 200 millions in 2011-2012, but have now donated the additional 40 million to maintain progress in the country and to assure the completion of free and fair elections.
Biti told Politiken that at the last elections millions of non-existent voters cast a ballot for Mugabe, and vowed to fight corruption in the future. The country is also in the process of establishing election districts, and Bach told Politiken that an election shouldn’t take place before the necessary reforms have been made.
“People like Mugabe give Africa a bad image,” Biti said. “It reinforces the stereotype of Africa as being a hopeless continent.”
The next election in Zimbabwe is scheduled to take place no later than June 2013.