HomeNewsUPDATE 1-Zimbabwe delays budget speech to Thursday

UPDATE 1-Zimbabwe delays budget speech to Thursday

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* Budget delayed to Thursday

* Southern African country is in fragile recovery (Adds quotes, background)

Zimbabwe’s finance minister Tendai Biti said Tuesday’s scheduled budget speech had been postponed to Thursday so President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai could both attend.

“Due to various commitments on their part, the presentation of the 2012 National Budget is deferred from Tuesday to Thursday in parliament,” Biti said in a statement.

“Any inconvenience caused to stakeholders is sincerely regretted,” the statement said.

Biti said in August the economy would grow between 7.8 and 9 percent in 2012, down from the projected 9.3 percent this year and the government would run a budget deficit of $700 million.

Zimbabwe is preparing for presidential and parliamentary elections, which could be held as early as 2012, and Biti would be expected to set aside funds for the vote.

The mineral-rich southern African country is in a fragile recovery after a decade of steep decline and Mugabe and Tsvangirai are in an uneasy unity government formed after a disputed election in 2008.

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