Zim power-sharing can't continue, says Mugabe

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe told his party conference on Friday that the country’s uneasy power-sharing government “can’t be allowed to continue”.

“We agreed to work together ... as a compromise to enable us to sort things out, establish peace, political stability, now some are dragging their feet,” Mugabe told members of his Zanu-PF party.

“The GPA can’t be allowed to continue,” he added, referring to the Global Political Agreement with the ex-opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party of his Prime Minister and arch-foe Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing administration six months after a chaotic presidential vote in 2008 but they are now in the throes of a vicious battle over when the next national elections should take place.

Mugabe said the deal with the MDC had failed.

“What it has done is to reveal and expose to us what we did not know; now we know this creature, the MDC, has no policy, no ideology, no philosophy except change, change,” he told delegates at the official opening of the conference.

Disputed run-off poll
More than 4 000 Zanu-PF delegates assembled in the eastern city of Mutare, where they are expected to rubber-stamp Mugabe’s push for polls in the first half of 2011.

“Every delegate is ready for the battle of elections next year,” Mike Madiro, a Zanu-PF provincial chairperson, earlier told Agence France-Presse.

In March 2008, Tsvangirai won the presidential election against Mugabe but fell short of the required majority, resulting in a run-off ballot that the MDC leader refused to take part in citing violence against MDC supporters, allowing Mugabe to triumph unopposed.

On Thursday, Tsvangirai said only a presidential vote would address the issue of “illegitimacy” following the disputed run-off poll, but he refused to specify any date when elections should take place.

The MDC has previously said that credible polls are not possible until 2012 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Mugabe told the conference that British and US companies in Zimbabwe would be nationalised if sanctions against the country were not dropped.

“Why should we continue to have 400 British companies operating here freely?” Mugabe said.

“Why should we continue having companies and organisations that are supported by Britain and America without hitting back? Time has come for us to revenge,” he said, referring to laws that allow him to take the companies over.

“We can read the riot act and say this is 51% we are taking, and if the sanctions persist we are taking over 100%.”—AFP