Mbeki says leave Zimbabwe alone


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Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has called on African nations to leave Zimbabwe alone and respect the right of the people of Zimbabwe to choose their own leader.

Zimbabweans elected Zimbabwe African National Union leader Robert Mugabe as their president but the West has challenged the election claiming it did not reflect the will of the people.

Most African countries have congratulated Mugabe on his victory with only Botswana so far saying it will ask the Southern African Development Community for an audit of the elections.

Mbeki brokered the talks that brought about the unity government that ran the country for the past four years.

“The people of Zimbabwe have a right to self determination. They have a right to decide what to do with their country and their future,” Mbeki said.

“There has been a worrying thing about the Zimbabwe elections, which is that there has been a very sustained campaign before the elections to discredit them before they happened. You could see it quite clearly.”

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the elections were illegitimate before they campaign even started.

ZANU-PF won the elections by a two-thirds majority and there is an increasing feeling that the massive victory cannot be attributed to rigging alone.

The West contributed to Tsvangirai’s loss by not giving him enough mass to run a smooth campaign like that of ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai has also been accused of imposing candidates, especially in Manicaland where the party lost heavily.

According to New Zimbabwe, some of the newly elected MDC legislators have vowed to defy the party if it orders them to boycott parliament.

“We are definitely going to parliament. What would be the use of winning an election if you do not take up the post you were contesting for?” one is quoted as saying.

“Tsvangirai is just being naïve and selfish. It would be unfair for those of us who won and the electorate who voted for us. He should be concentrating on a court battle,” another said.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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