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ZIMBABWE: ZANU rejects Powell's call for Mugabe's removal

johannesburg, 26 June 2003 (IRIN) - Zimbabwe's ruling party has reacted angrily to a call by US Secretary of State Colin Powell for the urgent removal of President Robert Mugabe and his "cronies".

The official Herald newspaper on Thursday reported that Minister of State for Information Jonathan Moyo had called Powell's statements false, and linked the US call for a regime change in Zimbabwe to its invasion of Iraq.

"The use of lies and deception by Powell and [US President George W] Bush has not worked in Iraq, where he wanted to mix it with oil. It will never, ever work anywhere else, and will certainly not mix with land in Zimbabwe," Moyo was quoted as saying.

Powell wrote in the New York Times this week that Mugabe's government held a "monopoly of coercive power, but no legitimacy or moral authority".

He also put pressure on Zimbabwe's neighbours to become more active on the issue.

"South Africa and other African countries are increasingly concerned and active on Zimbabwe, but they can and should play a stronger and more sustained role that fully reflects the urgency of Zimbabwe's crisis," Powell wrote.

He placed the blame for Zimbabwe's current political and economic woes on Mugabe's regime and warned that a deterioration of the situation in that country would threaten the region.

However, regional power-house South Africa on Thursday maintained that it was only the people of Zimbabwe who could find a solution to the country's problems, South Africa's Independent Newspapers group reported.

South African government spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa was quoted as saying that South Africa would resist efforts to impose a solution on Zimbabwe.

This view was echoed by Moyo. "We in ZANU-PF have always held that we are our own liberators, first politically, and now economically," he was reported as saying in the Herald.

Theme (s): Governance,

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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