Call to end Zimbabwe international sanctions

Original source:

Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has appealed for an end to sanctions and more international investment in South Africa.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa summit in Cape Town, Mr Mutambara said: 'Sanctions in this juncture in our history are meaningless. Help us help ourselves by removing all those sanctions so Zimbabwe can have a fresh start.'

Zimbabwe's African neighbours have failed to respond to its pleas for a $2 billion (£1.2 billion) economic rescue package.

Investors from South Africa are waiting for the implementation of a new bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement before they move in.

'Zimbabwe doesn't have the luxury of time on its side,' warned South African deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti said tax revenues did not begin to cover even basic salaries and that Zimbabwe's state-owned companies were a further drain on the economy.

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was due to meet US President Barack Obama in Washington tonight.