BWI – March 3, 2009

Zimbabwe Reconstruction

In February 2009, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister of Zimbabwe as part of a new unity government that Zimbabweans hope will signal an end to the political and economic crises that have gripped the country for months. Many times already, Tsvangirai has appealed to the international community to help Zimbabwe’s crippled economy, saying it would take $5 billion to stabilize the country. GAPWUZ delegates attending the LOTCO evaluation mission from 24 to 27 of February 2009 said “Hunger, lack of health care, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, corruption, harassment, lack of education, all these challenges rob us of an opportunity to have a meaningful and purposeful life.”

For Tsvangirai the unity government is “the only way to resolve the country’s crisis.” The cholera outbreak has worsened Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. Failed government policies and shortages have created a fertile environment for inflation. GAPUWUZ says “In the forestry industry most workers are leaving employment to join diamond mining” due to the country’s highest level of inflation in the world at 231 million percent (July 2008).

The unity government is the result of a power-sharing agreement reached in September, with the position of prime minister created for Tsvangirai – the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

2010 World Cup Tickets to be Released

The 2010 Fifa World Cup will kick-off on 11 June 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. With just 467 days to go, another important date has arrived: tickets for the event will be released on 15 April 2009. Just over three million tickets are available for next year’s 64-match tournament, although only half of those will be sold to the general public. 120.000 tickets are reserved for poor people living in South Africa, a nation with high unemployment and poverty.

For the first time, the World Cup is organized in a developing country where construction workers of a stadium have an average monthly salary of CHF 250. A general public ticket to a qualifying game will cost between CHF 45 and CHF 550. A ticket to a finals game around CHF 800. There is however, a special price for poor South Africans to allow them to see a games. They will have the possibility to buy 120000 tickets for around CHF 15.

Through the efforts of the BWI Decent Work campaign about 20000 construction workers will each receive a free ticket to a game at the 2010 stadium they contributed to build.

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