Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Mugabe criticises 'stupid' West


Robert Mugabe labels US comments "stupid and foolish"

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has rejected calls from the US and UK for him to stand down, branding them "stupid and foolish".

Mr Mugabe was speaking after the US said a power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe was not possible with him in power.

He said criticism from President George Bush was irrelevant and the "last kicks of a dying horse".

Mr Mugabe has been facing intensified criticism over the dire economic and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe.

On Sunday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jendayi Frazer said Zimbabwe's leader had lost touch with reality.

She said the United States had lost confidence in a power-sharing agreement with the opposition and would not drop its sanctions while Mr Mugabe remained in power.

These are the last kicks of a dying horse
Robert Mugabe

Speaking at the funeral of a member of his Zanu-PF party, Mr Mugabe told supporters that the inclusive government did not include Mr Bush and his administration.

"Let him keep his comments to himself. They are undeserved, irrelevant, quite stupid and foolish," he said.


The US position was backed by the British government on Monday, with UK Africa minister Mark Malloch-Brown saying Mr Mugabe had become "an absolute impossible obstacle" to power-sharing.

Zimbabwe cholera victim

But Mr Mugabe said Zimbabwe was not going to listen to such criticism.

"We do realise that these are the last kicks of a dying horse," he said.

"We obviously are not going to pay attention to a sunset administration. Zimbabwe's fate lies in the hands of Zimbabweans."

Several African leaders have also recently urged Mr Mugabe to resign but South Africa and the African Union say they still believe power-sharing is the answer to Zimbabwe's crisis.

Mr Mugabe signed a power-sharing deal with his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, in September, but progress has since stalled over who should control key ministries.

As well as suffering economic meltdown, Zimbabwe is experiencing a cholera outbreak, fuelled by the collapse of its health, sanitation and water services.

Aid agencies have warned that the disease, which has already claimed more than 1,100 lives, could infect more than 60,000 unless its spread is halted.

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