The government of Zimbabwe - or at least the part of it controlled by President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF - condemned the killing of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Friday saying it was not an acceptable way to solve political disputes in Africa.
Information Minister Webster Shamu issued a statement saying that Harare had closely followed developments in Libya and was disturbed by the killing of the wounded Gadhafi by revolutionary fighters who captured him Thursday as they took control of Sirte.
“Zimbabwe just can not accept what has happened in that African country as a legitimate way of correcting systems on the African continent,” Shamu declared.
But the statement did not reflect the views of all parties in the unity government formed in 2009 to resolve an impasse created by contested 2008 elections.
Both wings of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change said Thursday that the late Libyan dictator dug his own grave.
The Libyan revolution has been controversial in Harare, where the Arab Spring model of popular revolt was clearly perceived by senior ZANU-PF officials as a threat.
The Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry expelled the Libyan ambassador in September after he switched sides from Gadhafi, who appointed him, to the revolutionary fighters.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Joey Bimha said told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamil Nkomo that Harare will only restore diplomatic ties with Tripoli when the National Transitional Council now in charge forms an inclusive - i.e. power-sharing - government.
"We have said that once an inclusive government is formed in Libya, we will establish diplomatic relations with it," Bimha said. "There is no government in Libya at the moment, and what do you recognize? There are no ministers to talk about, there is nothing."
But Methuseli Moyo, a spokesman for the reconstituted Zimbabwe African People's Union or ZAPU, said the moves by President Mugabe's side of the unity government to resist the new establishment in Tripoli will not hold water very long.
Gadhafi's burial, which was supposed to take place within 24 hours of his death in line with Muslim tradition, was on hold Friday as authorities investigated the circumstances surrounding his death. The United Nations and human rights groups expressed concern that Gadhafi, wounded when captured, might have been summarily executed.
Political analyst Effie Dlela Ncube said ZANU-PF is hostile to the new dispensation in Libya because it fears a similar scenario of revolt unfolding in Zimbabwe.
African Studies Professor Shadreck Gutto of the University of South Africa said on Studio 7 LiveTalk Thursday that while African leaders must know when to step down, he does not approve of the role of Western governments in settling African conflicts.