Picture: (AP Photo)- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe leaves talks in Harare, Zimbabwe, this morning, Aug. 11, 2008. South African President Thabo Mbeki met with Mugabe and main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwean state media reported progress in Mbeki’s attempts to mediate an end to a deadly political standoff.
Update: Mugabe warns opposition not to be ‘used by enemiew’
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe says his country “was not for sale” and “will never be a colony again”, while warning the opposition not to be “used by enemies.”
Mugabe says “Let’s not hand over the country to the enemy”.
The 84-year-old leader referring to the MDC says “If you are on the enemy’s side or you are being used by enemies, stop it … It cannot just be unity in vain — a hollow unity”.
“It must be unity guided by basic principles. Principles that will solidify us strengthen us.” He added in the address in honour of those who died in the guerrilla war that led to the country’s independence: “Zimbabwe is not for sale and Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.”
Mugabe has often sought to portray opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a stooge of former colonial power Britain, though his rhetoric has cooled in recent weeks with the two sides engaged in talks.
He says “when somebody makes you turn against each other, you don’t say we are no longer family members.” Mugabe, himself a hero of the independence struggle, also declared “they will die for their legacy.”
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai were due to resume critical talks on a powersharing government today after failing to sign off on a deal at marathon negotiations in Harare yesterday.
Around 14 hours of talks between the two leaders under the mediation of South African President Thabo Mbeki were adjourned in the early hours of this morning without an agreement.
Mugabe, 84, was the first to leave Rainbow Towers hotel, where the talks that are subject to a media blackout were taking place behind closed doors.
Looking drawn, Mugabe told reporters: “They haven’t finished. Obviously there are some sticking points in any dialogue and we’ll overcome (them) tomorrow.”
The leader of a breakaway faction of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Arthur Mutambara, who is also a party to the talks, described the negotiations as a “work in progress.” Tsvangirai refused comment.
One of Mugabe’s chief negotiators, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, says the leaders would meet again after annual Heroes’ Day commemorations. The holiday commemorates Zimbabweans who died in the struggle for independence from Britain.
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