Mugabe upbeat over African solution to post-poll crisis

Sharm El-Sheikh- Egypt (PANA) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Tuesday that support from African leaders in resolving the crisis in country was high and dismissed calls for the appointment of new mediators to help steer talks with the opposition.
President Mugabe's press secretary George Charamba also said here that the crisis in the country was of a different proportion from the post-election crisis that rocked Kenya, hence would require a different solution.
"African leaders are commending what is happening in our country.
We have received the support of Gabon and Eritrea," Charamba said as African leaders were due to start discussions on Zimbabwe's political crisis at the 11th Ordinary Session of the AU in the Egyptian resort.
President Mugabe has claimed overwhelming support from African leaders following what has been termed as "sham elections" in his country and rebuffed Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga's condemnation of his re-election.
Some African leaders have criticised the Zimbabwean authorities for conducting the presidential run-off, in which Mugabe was declared the winner.
But Gabon's Omar Bongo and Eritrea's Isaias Aferweki have reportedly said they recognised President Mugabe's re-election and were providing their support at the ongoing African Union Summit.
President Mugabe's spokesman said calls for the formation of an AU mediation team to oversee the search for a political solution to Zimbabwe's failing democracy were not necessary.
He also dismissed calls for the replacement of South African President Thabo Mbeki as the South African Development Community (SADC) mediator, saying such a move was like "trying to demarcate Africa" again.
"I thought Mbeki is working for a regional organisation that is part of the African Union.
Why are we drawing these distinctions, why are we trying to partition Africa again," Charamba told journalists.
Zimbabwe's political crisis has dominated the talks on Africa's economic and social development# at the summit Meanwhile, the Presidential spokesman has dismissed Odinga's criticism of President Mugabe's re-election, saying the situation in Kenya was worse than the Zimbabwean crisis and that the two states have different history.
"I take it that you saw the blood flowing from the Kenyan elections, raw African blood, it cannot be cleansed by the condemnation of the Zimbabwean elections," Charamba told journalists in reaction to the Kenyan PM's attacks.
He said Odinga has too much "raw African blood on his hands to cleanse it using his condemnation of the Zimbabwe vote''.

01 july 2008 12:16:00




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