US withdraws support for Zimbabwe power-sharing deal

The United States effectively withdrew support for Zimbabwe’s stalled power-sharing deal today, as the opposition Movement for Democratic Change warned that it would boycott another sham election.

Jendayi Frazer, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, told reporters in Pretoria that Washington had become convinced that the embattled president, Robert Mugabe was not interested in sharing power.

To allow him to continue as president in a unity government would leave "a man who’s lost it, who’s losing his mind, who’s out of touch with reality" in power, she said after talks with regional leaders. Washington – and Britain – had signalled a readiness to step in with a major aid package once a unity government is operational. "We’re not prepared to do any of that now," Ms Frazer said, citing the abductions in Zimbabwe, the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation and the cholera epidemic.

The talks between the MDC and the ruling Zanu-PF party have bogged down over key ministries, and Mr Mugabe has warned his party to be ready for new elections after failing to push the opposition into a junior role in a unity government.

The Zimbabwean opposition said it would boycott any fresh elections in the New Year, unless there is an overhaul of the constitution and a strong presence from international observers.

The MDC will not take part in “another Mugabe managed election farce,” said party spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

“We welcome and are ready and prepared for free and fair elections,” said Mr Chamisa. “We would be ready to deliver another election blow to them like we did in March,” where the party won more seats than Zanu PF and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mr Mugabe by six percentage points in the presidential poll.

However, he said that if a new vote was simply a rerun of “June chaos” where the second round was blighted by violence against opposition supporters, then: “the participation of the MDC cannot be definite.”

It remains unclear what the government’s next move will be.

The ruling party conference concluded this weekend with calls for Mr Mugabe to unilaterally form a new government without the MDC, although this would be illegal under the constitution.

Ms Frazer said that if Mr Mugabe’s neighbours were to unite and "go to Mugabe and tell him to go, I do think he would go," she said. But South Africa today continued to insist that the best way forward is through a unity government.

There has been no legitimate government in Zimbabwe since elections in March, where the ruling party lost its parliamentary majority for the first time.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border