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Africa, West Nations' Rift Over Zimbabwe Elections Widens

Voters waiting to vote outside a polling station in Harare last Wednesday.
The rift between some African nations and the west over the outcome of Zimbabwe’s elections is widening with Britain announcing it is pulling out of the premier tourism showcase - the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s 20th general assembly starting in Victoria Falls on the August 26.

The UNWTO meeting would be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Ironically, Zambian leader Michael Sata has joined the list of African leaders endorsing President Robert Mugabe’s re-election despite concerns by the west that the election was deeply flawed.

Leaders from South Africa, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Namibia have sent messages of congratulations to Mr. Mugabe for winning the election described as a farce by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

But Botswana broke ranks with Africa and joined America, Britain and Australia in condemning the elections.

According to The Times UK newspaper, Britain has decided not send a single official to the conference “despite hopes in Harare that the country would be welcomed back into the family of nations”.

But a defiant Mr. Mugabe, speaking after his party’s politburo meeting Wednesday, took a swipe at western nations saying he is not concerned by their criticism as long as he has been endorsed by African leaders.

Political analyst and senior researcher at the International Crisis Group, Trevor Maisiri said the Zimbabwe crisis might soon be off the radar as the world focuses on other hot spots in the world.