Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai Monday urged the African Union to reject the outcome of the presidential run-off election held Friday that led Sunday to the inauguration of President Robert Mugabe, and dispatch a special envoy to Harare to help put in place a transitional government.
Tsvangirai's call has been backed by a group of statesmen called the Elders, which includes former South African president Nelson Mandela, the eminent South African cleric Desmond Tutu, former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.
South African President Thabo Mbeki, mediator in Zimbabwe for the Southern African Development Community since March 2007, is continuing with his efforts. Sources in Pretoria said Mbeki is pushing for a Kenya-style national unity government.
Mbeki briefed SADC leaders Friday on his initiative amid preparations for the African Union summit that opened Monday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on the Red Sea shore of the Sinai Peninsula.
But Zimbabwean Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said the ruling ZANU-PF
party will only open talks with Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change if
it denounces sanctions imposed by the United States, Britain, the European Union and other countries, and cuts ties with the West.
Matonga told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Harare government does not take instructions from anyone on how to deal with the crisis - even the African Union.
Opposition leader Tsvangirai told reporter Zulu that the African Union must step up pressure on Mr. Mugabe and and invalidate the results of the run-off ballot, from which Tsvangirai withdrew on June 22 over escalating political violence that had by then claimed the lives of more than 80 MDC supporters.