|2:48 PM EDT||
Jim Kolbe, R-AZ 8th
Mr. KOLBE. Mr. Chairman, I want to say that I share my colleague's abhorrence regarding the rule in Zimbabwe, and he has outlined it, I think, extraordinarily well. Through his mismanagement and outright oppression, he has driven Zimbabwe, once known as the bread basket of southern Africa, into the greatest source of instability in the region. I want to make it clear that no funding, no funding from this bill will be used to support Mr. Mugabe's government.
The bill does include $15 million to help the people of Zimbabwe. I feel strongly that this assistance is critical and must be sustained. Over $11 million of this is for HIV/AIDS and other health programs. Most of the rest is used to help strengthen citizen groups and other organizations, so one day the people may have an effective voice against Mr. Mugabe and his cronies.
Democratic change must be driven by the people. As we have seen in Georgia and Ukraine, our democracy programs can be effective in supporting that process. And, the people of Zimbabwe must not feel that the international community has given up on them.
While I feel strongly that our assistance to the Zimbabwean people must be sustained, I will be happy to work with the gentleman to find ways to increase pressure on President Mugabe.