Mugabe is a dictator

Cape Town - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga described President Robert Mugabe as a dictator on Thursday in one of the harshest attacks on the Zimbabwean ruler by another African leader,according to South Africa's News24.

“I have advised Morgan Tsvangirai to accept to participate in the run-off, which has been called because dictators know no boundaries,” Odinga told a news conference at the World Economic Forum for Africa in Cape Town. Odinga disputed the victory of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki in an election in December, prompting deadly clashes, but the former opposition leader then agreed to a power-sharing deal. Odinga said Tsvangirai’s decision to campaign in the run-off would show “how far Mugabe and his cronies are willing to go”. Zimbabwe’s opposition had said it feared that Mugabe’s officials would rig the results of the run-off to extend his 28-year rule, as they were accused of doing in past elections. Odinga added: “As a pan-Africanist, I think that I would be failing in my duty if I did not point out that what is happening in Zimbabwe is a big embarrassment to the entire continent of Africa. “We cannot be speaking about democracy and democratisation of the continent when we condone what is happening in Zimbabwe.” It was rare for African leaders to publicly criticise Mugabe, who was still seen as a hero by millions on the continent for fighting to end British rule in Zimbabwe in 1980 and for supporting other anti-colonial struggles. SA President Thabo Mbeki had been among those criticised for taking too soft a line on Mugabe’s government, which had presided over an economic meltdown marked by inflation over 165 000% and chronic food shortages.


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