Zimbabwe's opposition to run finance ministry

The Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday appointed Tendai Biti to be Finance Minister in a unity government and said he would focus on creating monetary stability and attracting foreign investment.

Mr Biti, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party's secretary general, will be charged with rebuilding Zimbabwe's ruined economy and winning the confidence of Western donors.

"This [finance] ministry's mandate is to create a stable economic environment for all Zimbabweans... and to establish Zimbabwe as a strong investment centre," Mr Tsvangirai said.

The MDC leader, who agreed to form a coalition with President Robert Mugabe last week, will be sworn in as Prime Minister today under a power-sharing deal designed to end the country's political crisis and revive a collapsed economy that was once the breadbasket of southern Africa. The joint MDC and Zanu-PF party cabinet will be sworn in on Friday.