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Zimbabwe - exclusive interview

Foreign calls for Mugabe to resign are "racist" says Info Minister

Article published on the 2008-12-09 Latest update 2008-12-11 09:21 TU

Robert Mugabe(File photo : Reuters)

Robert Mugabe
(File photo : Reuters)

Foreign governments calling for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to resign are "malicious" and "racist", Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told RFI late Tuesday. "Those countries can say this to a black government," he said. "Why don't they call on [ex-British Prime Minister] John Major to step down because there is a failed economy in England?" he asked. Gordon Brown is the UK's current Prime Minister.

"I don't know on what basis does the President of France, the European Union, the Foreign Minister of Belgium in Brussels, is calling for our President to step down," Ndlovu said.

US President George W Bush also called for an end to Mugabe's "tyranny" on Tuesday and has urged African leaders to join the Western powers calling for him to leave office.

Neighbouring Botswana has also taken a hard line against Mugabe and has suggested that the region should cut off fuel shipments to Zimbabwe to force him from power.

"What authority does he [Bush] have to do so? It is totally unacceptable, and obnoxious, and is an insult, not only to Zimbabwe, but all African people and all African governments," said Ndlovu.

"That is a colonialist, racist attitude, which should never have found its ugly head in Zimbabwe, or in any African country," he added.

Exclusive interview: Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu

09/12/2008 by Alexandra Brangeon