U.S. says government will not work with Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has reneged on a power-sharing deal and the United States will no longer support a government that includes him, a top U.S. envoy said on Sunday.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer told reporters in Pretoria Mugabe was "completely out of touch" and was responsible for turning the once prosperous country into a "failed state" where food is scarce and the currency worthless, Reuters reported.
Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed on September 15 to form a unity government, a pact supported at the time by the United States. But that agreement has unravelled due to a fight over control of important ministries.
Since then, Zimbabwe has sunk deeper into crisis. Hyper-inflation means prices double every day, a cholera epidemic has killed more than 1,100 people and the opposition has accused the ruling party of abducting its supporters.
"We feel that Robert Mugabe has reneged on that deal," Frazer said, citing political violence, the spread of cholera, and moves by Mugabe to unilaterally take control of important ministries and posts.
"The power sharing agreement ... needs to be implemented with someone other than Robert Mugabe as president."
Western nations, Zimbabwe's neighbours and investors had hoped a unity government with Tsvangirai as prime minister would wrest enough control from Mugabe to reverse policies they blame for Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, and avert total collapse.
"Today we know better," Frazer said, adding she had been sent by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to explain the U.S. shift in policy to other southern African countries.