photo by jon nicholson

news - Zimbabwe's Mugabe Vows Unity, Brushes Off Critics

september 15th, 2009

"President Robert Mugabe vowed to work with one-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe on Tuesday marked the signing of a unity deal one year ago, but brushed off criticism of failing the fragile pact.

The inclusive government, formed by the two leaders five months after the pact was penned, has helped steer Zimbabwe's return from crisis but still faces deep-rooted challenges after nearly a decade of political tensions.

'If we could work with (Zimbabwe's last white ruler) Ian Smith, how can we not work with Morgan Tsvangirai?' state media reported Mugabe as telling a landmark European Union visit at the weekend.

'I am saying this because some people doubt 'can this man work with the opposition?' We have done it before and at a time when vengeful feelings were running high. It's the issue once again but this time with our own people.'

The two leaders met the EU delegation Saturday in the first such visit to Harare in seven years which noted progress by the unity government but slammed reports of rights abuses and called for greater reforms.

The bloc also rejected calls for an end to sanctions imposed against Mugabe and his inner circle, which include a travel ban and a freeze on bank accounts."

MORE: "Zimbabwe's Mugabe vows unity, brushes off critics" (AFP)

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