The idea of forming a unity government has been rejected by Morgan Tsvangirai (photo, from daylife.com), the opposition leader, if he is not recognised as the winner of presidential election in Zimbabwe.
Days after Robert Mugabe won a run-off boycotted by the opposition (link), African leaders called for a unity government.
But the opposition leader, who won the first-round but did not secure enough vote to avoid the run-off, said that another mediator should be appointed by the African Union, to join South Africa’s leader Thabo Mbeki.
The AU call for dialogue was earlier welcomed by a spokesman for Mr Mugabe.
Tuesday’s resolution by African Union leaders did not adequately deal with the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe, that include reports of reprisal attacks on those who failed to vote for Mr Mugabe on Friday, said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a statement.
On Tuesday in Egypt, at the end of the two-day summit, a resolution calling for the “creation of a government of national unity” in Zimbabwe has been approved by AU leaders.
But the illegitimacy of the 27 June run-off was not acknowledged by the resolution, said Morgan Tsvangirai.
‘The will of Zimbabwean people’
“The resolution endorses the concept of a government of national unity, without acknowledging that the MDC, as the winner of the last credible election on 29 March, should be recognised as the legitimate government of Zimbabwe.”
To him, the basis of talks should be the first-round election.
“A government of national unity does not address the problems facing Zimbabwe or acknowledge the will of the Zimbabwean people”, he said.
“While the MDC remains committed to negotiations, this must be based on the 29 March result and must move towards a transitional agreement”, AFP news agency quotes him as saying.
Before the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, Mr Mugabe had already called for dialogue, said Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.
“It is only endorsing what the president said, that he is going for national dialogue and is open to anyone who is willing to talk, not national unity concocted by the West”, he said.
The EU “will not accept a government other than one led by Mr Tsvangirai”, said Bernard Kouchner, French foreign minister after the AU meeting. France holds European Union’s rotaring presidency since July 1.
Nine supporters murdered
But solutions could not be imposed from outside, said Thabo Mbeki.
“The result that comes out of that process of dialogue must be a result that is agreed by the Zimbabweans”, he told the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
The MDC says that nine of its supporters have been murdered and hundreds more beaten and forced to leave their homes since last Friday’s run-off.
The opposition party said that in Manicaland alone, since the weekend 500 MDC supporters, along with their families, have been forced to flee their homes and are now seeking refuge in Mutare, at the party’s headquarters.
Themba Nkosi, Zimbabwean journalist, told the BBC that ruling party militias known as the “Green Bombers” have been on the rampage in the southern city of Bulawayo targeting commuter taxi operators and drivers.
He says that after being allocated free fuel by the Zanu-PF party, the drivers are accused by the militias of failing to campaign for the party.