WASHINGTON DC —
The United States has rejected a call by southern African leaders to lift economic sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the U.S. will not drop the so-called sanctions, adding they will remain in force as long as "serious flaws" persist in Zimbabwe's electoral process.
SADC urged western powers to remove all sanctions on Zimbabwe at the 15-nation bloc's annual meeting in Malawi on Sunday.
SADC said Zimbabwe has made progress in political reform by holding elections the regional bloc says were "free and peaceful."
Election results gave Mr. Mugabe's Zanu-PF party a landslide victory, allowing him to extend his 33 years in power by another five years.
Outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected the results accusing Mr. Mugabe's party of "monumental" fraud.
The U.S is not alone in maintaining its view of the July 31st elections.
The chair of the African Union Commission says that the continental body is confident with the results of Zimbabwe’s election, despite criticism of vote-rigging from the nation’s largest observer group and from the opposition.
A-u commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told the VOA’s Anita Powell in Johannesburg on Tuesday that Zanu-PF seemed sure to win the vote even before the election.
When asked why AU observers have used the words “free” and “peaceful” to describe the elections, but not the word “fair,” Ms. Dlamini-Zuma said the issue of fairness was more difficult to quantify.