26. June 2008

Mandela criticises Zimbabwe leadership

Former South African President Nelson Mandela expressed concern yesterday over the election crisis in Zimbabwe and criticised the country's leadership. In a speech at a dinner in London, he said there was a "tragic failure of leadership" in Zimbabwe. Pressure has mounted both inside and outside Africa to call off the vote since MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew. Robert Mugabe, 84, is now certain to be elected to extend his 28-year rule.
South African spokesperson Themba Maseko said: "The facilitation talks between the various parties in Zimbabwe are looking at all aspects that will bring a possible settlement ... all options are being considered which would, I suspect, include the possibility of a postponement." He said senior negotiator Sydney Mufamadi was in Harare talking both to the government and opposition. Human rights organisations, Western powers and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change accused Mugabe of launching a campaign of murder and intimidation after he and his Zanu PF party lost the first round of elections. Tsvangirai said that while he was prepared to negotiate with Mugabe's Zanu PF before tomorrow, his MDC would "not have anything to do" with a government that emerged from the vote. (SABC)

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