Bloomberg News

Zimbabwe Coalition Government Must Be Scrapped, Mugabe Says

December 12, 2011

(Updates with Mugabe rejecting retirement in last paragraph)

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said a power-sharing government between his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Movement for Democratic Change must be scrapped.

“We’re preparing a grave for this monster, we must now see its death,” Mugabe said at the closing ceremony of a party congress in the second-city of Bulawayo today. “It must come to an end and we must dig its grave so we can now prepare for elections.”

Mugabe, 87, was forced to share power in February 2009 after his party lost parliamentary elections to the MDC in 2008. Mugabe has been calling for fresh elections since 2010. Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said his party won’t contest elections until violence against party members end and restrictions on media lifted.

Under the terms of the power-sharing agreement, Zimbabwe can’t hold elections until a new constitution is approved by referendum. Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who is also secretary- general of the MDC, didn’t allocate money for elections or a referendum in 2012 when he presented the country’s national budget on Nov. 24.

“We can’t continue to have this nonsense of calling for elections soon,” Mugabe said. “They must be next year and I hope we can put an end to this impasse.”

Mugabe told Zanu-PF delegates that he wouldn’t retire from politics.

“It would be wrong, completely wrong when the west is still keeping us under sanctions, working against us and holding us back,” he said. “It would be an act of cowardice to retire and I’m not made that way.”

--Editors: Nasreen Seria, Francis Harris

To contact the reporters on this story: Godfrey Marawanyika in Johannesburg at gmarawanyika@bloomberg.net; Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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