Mugabe tells off presidents Banda, Zuma

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on Friday said regional leaders can not tell him what to do in his country.

Addressing the 84th Ordinary Session of the Zanu PF Central Committee meeting in Harare on Friday afternoon, President Robert Mugabe said the facilitator of the Zimbabwe talks should facilitate and not dictate on what Zimbabweans should do.

“The MDC thinks SADC or the AU can prescribe to us how we run our things. We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that.”

Mugabe’s response came after an unusually strong rebuke from regional leaders criticising slow pace on the power-sharing deal with Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai and demanding an end to political violence.

The 87-year-old said President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, which brokered the Southern African Development Community (SADC) backed unity deal with Tsvangirai as prime minister, should not dictate what should happen in Zimbabwe.

“The facilitator is the facilitator and must facilitate dialogue,” Mugabe was quoted as saying.

“He cannot prescribe anything. We prescribe what we should do in accordance with our laws and our agreement.”

Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of cracking down on his supporters ahead of new elections expected later this year.

The presidents of South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia did not mention either rival by name but echoed concerns raised by Tsvangirai in a statement issued after the SADC’s security body met in Zambia.

“The summit noted with grave concern the polarisation of the political environment as characterized by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrest and intimidation in Zimbabwe,” they said in the communique.

“There must be an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of the GPA” (unity pact).

The chairman of the Troika president Banda said during the meeting that SADC government should respect legitimate interests of citizens or face uprising like in the Northern part of Africa.

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