Zimbabwe: Mugabe rejects UN political mediation

News and Press Release
Originally published
HARARE -- President Robert Mugabe on Sunday rejected United Nations (UN) calls for political dialogue in the country between his ruling ZANU PF party and main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.
Mugabe was addressing party supporters at Harare International Airport after his arrival from a week-long visit to China where he was seeking assistance to avert economic meltdown in crisis-sapped Zimbabwe.

Mugabe said UN secretary general was only welcome to Zimbabwe to assess the after effects of a controversial clean-up exercise and not to push for dialogue between ZANU PF and the MDC.

"I invited the secretary general of the United Nations to come and see what demolitions we have done here and why we did them. That's the area I invited him for. I never said he should superintendent our political relations with the MDC," Mugabe said.

UN special envoy Anna Tibaijuka, who issued a damning report on Zimbabwe's controversial housing demolitions two weeks ago, among her recommendations urged political dialogue between the two main political parties to haul the country out of its present crisis.

But Harare has rejected the UN report alleging bias on the envoy's part.

South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki is also pushing for political dialogue between Mugabe and the MDC as a condition for a massive US$1 billion loan Zimbabwe urgently needs to avert economic meltdown.

Mugabe has in the past consistently rejected calls for political dialogue with the MDC arguing the opposition party was a front for the West out to reverse the country's political gains.

Yesterday, Mugabe also insisted that ZANU PF will only talk to the MDC in Parliament where the opposition party holds 41 seats after a controversial election held last March.

"They (MDC) are in Parliament; they can debate in Parliament in any way they like. But they have no right that they should be partners with us in Government. We can never do that. We shall never do that . . . No one shall dictate to us that we should accommodate the MDC," Mugabe said. - ZimOnlin