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Remove 'demonic' illegal sanctions, President Mugabe tells West
Posted: Friday, September 26, 2008

From Itai Musengeyi at the United Nations in NEW YORK
September 26, 2008
The Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe says he sees no hitches in implementing the power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations and has called on the West to remove the illegal sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe.

In an interview with Associated Press news agency at the UN headquarters on Wednesday, President Mugabe dismissed suggestions in the West that the power-sharing agreement was facing hitches.

"There is no one who is keen to resign from the agreement, only one area relating to four Cabinet posts is outstanding. I am surprised that the Americans and British are saying loud stupid things about us.

"Four Cabinet posts cannot unravel the process; there is nobody who wants to resign from the agreement. Everyone of us is positive about the agreement," President Mugabe said.

He said the agreement would work despite the fact that Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations had different backgrounds, the ruling party being a revolutionary party while the opposition leaned on the British and their Western allies for support.

"I don't see any reason why we can't work together. As Zimbabweans, we are all sons of the soil as we say. The only differences are on how we move forward."

Britain's problem with Zimbabwe was the land issue and London's determination to see him out of office, the President told AP when asked about the opposition's intimation that it wants a truth and reconciliation exercise on alleged human rights abuses.

"The fight is between us and the British and Americans. It is the British, it is the Americans who must be reconciled to us.

"It does not pay to have their stooges reconciling with us when the principals stand apart.

"Zimbabwe has not offended the US and Britain. Zimbabwe has not interfered in their domestic affairs, but they have offended us even to the extent of creating an opposition in our country. They want regime change.

"(Former British prime minister Tony) Blair, who was once in the saddle is no more, (Gordon) Brown is on his way out. This is not because of us, but their democratic processes," President Mugabe said.

Asked about the state of democracy in Zimbabwe, the President said this should be judged by Sadc and the African Union and not by the West, which he urged to remove its illegal sanctions.

"Sanctions must be lifted. Why were they imposed in the first place? There is dishonesty in their scope, these are overwhelming sanctions with the IMF and World Bank directed to stop aid to Zimbabwe. Is there anything more demonic than that?"

President Mugabe said he remains resolute despite spirited efforts by the British and Americans to dislodge him from power.

"They are waiting for a day when this man, this evil man called Robert Mugabe, is no longer in control. I don't know when that day is coming."

Asked if he was prepared to face trial at the International Criminal Court, President Mugabe said:

"They (the West) forget that I did not invade Iraq. I am not Mr Bush, is this not the man who must face trial? They must not confuse me with Mr Bush."

The President was optimistic Zimbabwe's economy would recover if the West lifted the illegal economic blockade and stopped meddling in the internal affairs of the country.

He said Zimbabwe welcomed investment from friendly countries.

"We don't expect investment from countries that are hostile. They can keep their investment, but we would hope in the first place that sanctions would be lifted. There is no reason for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe at all. There has never been any reason for it, you see, except hostility."

The economy's revival hinged on a good agricultural season because sufficient food would help tame inflation, President Mugabe said.

"If the West can only leave us alone you will see us come up. It will take us some time, we have lost quite a lot because of the sanctions."

The President said executive power had never been exclusive to one person in Government when asked how he felt about sharing power with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Executive power in Zimbabwe resides in the presidency (but) that power is not held by one person but devolves from the President, Vice Presidents (and now) the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers down to the ministers and the civil servants."

On whether the ouster of Cde Thabo Mbeki as South African president was right, President Mugabe said it was not for him to say but noted that Cde Mbeki had done a lot of good work with Zimbabwe.

Asked if the move did not show that democracy was at work in South Africa, he said:

"Well, democracy at work? I don't think democracy should work in that negative way. Democracy in one stroke pulls him down, democracy without morality is hollow."

Earlier President Mugabe held bilateral talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the UN Headquarters.

The two discussed the proposed establishment of a tractor manufacturing plant in Zimbabwe under a joint venture between the Industrial Development Corporation and Iran.

Mr Ahmadinejad undertook to find out what stage the project was as soon as he gets home.

Officials said the Iranian leader indicated that if need be, he would send the relevant minister to Zimbabwe to get the project off the ground.

Iran has provided Zimbabwe with tractors under the ongoing Farm Mechanisation Programme.

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