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Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 15:08 UK

Africans give $400m to Zimbabwe

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (Right) and Finance Minister Tendai Biti (Left) at a Sadc summit in Lusaka, Zambia on 12 April 2008
Tendai Biti (L) says Zimbabwe needs up to $45bn over the next five years

Zimbabwe has received $400m (£270m) in credit from African governments, says Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

The funds are aimed at helping pay civil servants and regenerating the country's economy, he said.

Botswana provided $70m (£47m) and South Africa $50m (£34m), with the rest coming from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Mr Biti made the remarks during a visit to London, where he is looking for further funding.

A unity government formed by rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has appealed for billions of dollars from the West.

Mr Biti told the BBC on Thursday that Zimbabwe would actually need about $45bn (£30bn) to revive its economy over the next five years, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund.

Western donors have called for real proof of power sharing and the restoration of law and order before they open their wallets.

Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday donors should withhold development aid until Zimbabwe halts a fresh wave of invasions of farms and frees opposition and human rights activists.

Mr Biti, a senior official with Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said there was a danger of the international community believing "Mugabe cannot be trusted and that he is taking the MDC for a ride", reported Reuters news agency.



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