Splits have appeared in the African Union over Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. Meeting in Egypt, Kenya said Zimbabwe should be suspended from the AU until it could organise free and fair elections. But the president of Gabon said Mugabe had won the election, and should be considered Zimbabwe’s president. World leaders have denounced Friday’s presidential ballot, in which Mugabe was the only candidate to stand.
Any deal with Zimbabwe’s opposition will require the backing of hardline members of Mugabe’s ZANU PF party who want immunity from possible prosecution. At his inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Mugabe said he was ready for talks:
“Indeed it is my hope that sooner rather than later we shall as diverse political parties hold consultations towards such serious dialogue as will minimise our differences and enhance the area o unity and cooperation between us,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims the government-backed violence has killed 90 of his supporters, and called on the world not to recognise Mugabe:
“Mugabe is not the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe,” he said. “He is usurping the power of the people, he’s brutalised his own people, and therefore he is not licensed to participate in the forums of the AU. The crisis that he has caused for this country is now the responsibility of the AU; together we will try to resolve it.”
For now, Tsvangirai remains inside the Dutch embassy in Harare where he has taken refuge.