US withdraws support for power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe

December 22nd, 2008 - 6:20 am ICT by IANS  

Pretoria, Dec 22 (DPA) The US Sunday said it could no longer support the planned power-sharing deal for Zimbabwe that would see Robert Mugabe retain the presidency. It also pledged to continue sanctions on Mugabe and those close to him.US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, speaking in neighbouring South Africa Sunday, said the US has lost confidence in Mugabe. She added he was “completely out of touch” and responsible for having turned Zimbabwe into a “failed state”.

The US withdrawal of support for a unity government with Mugabe as president and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister follows months of fruitless negotiations to implement the deal signed in September.

“We feel that Robert Mugabe has reneged on that deal,” Frazer said in Pretoria, highlighting violence of a political nature and Mugabe’s refusal to let go of key ministries in negotiating a new unity government.

“The power sharing agreement … needs to be implemented with someone other than Robert Mugabe as president,” Frazer said.

Mugabe, 84, Saturday lashed out at Britain and the United States at Zanu-PF’s annual conference in Bindura, saying only the people of Zimbabwe had the power to remove him from office and vowing never to “surrender.”

Mugabe never mentioned the raging cholera epidemic that has taken more than 1,000 lives since August.

In March, Mugabe’s Zanu-PF suffered an historic electoral defeat as the MDC won control of parliament. Tsvangirai won the presidential election, but failed to get the majority vote. He pulled out of a second-round run-off in June, claiming violence against his supporters. Mugabe was declared the winner.

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