Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tsvangirai: No Political Bandaid on Zimbabwe's Wound

Zimbabwe's opposition leader on Wednesday rejected calls to form a national unity government, saying it would not solve the country's crisis after Robert Mugabe's widely condemned one-man election.

Speaking the day after an African Union summit called for a unity government, Morgan Tsvangirai said it would merely accommodate Mugabe after much of the world had labeled his regime illegitimate.

"A government of national unity does not address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the Zimbabwean people," Tsvangirai told reporters.

"The resolution does not recognise the illegitimacy of the June 27 election and the fact that most African leaders refused to recognise Mugabe as head of state."

The Movement for Democratic Change leader added that it does not acknowledge "that the MDC, as the winner of the last credible election, on March 29, should be recognised as legitimate government of Zimbabwe."

Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the first round of the presidential election in March, but official vote totals showed him just short of an outright majority.

The opposition leader subsequently pulled out of last Friday's run-off, saying nearly 90 of his supporters had been killed and thousands injured in violence he blamed on pro-Mugabe militia.

His comments Wednesday came after Mugabe's regime hailed the AU resolution, describing it as an echo of the 84-year-old leader's call for dialogue.

"Government is ready for dialogue with whoever, a dialogue for national unity in Zimbabwe," Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said.

Read it all here.

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