COSATU criticises African leaders’ approval of Mugabe

HARARE - South Africa's labour movement has criticised African leaders for what it said was their tacit approval of  Robert Mugabe's claims to legitimacy after bludgeoning his way to victory in the June election that was condemned as undemocratic by Africa and Western governments.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said because of clear signals Mugabe received from a summit of regional leaders last week – that said he could proceed to convene parliament before concluding power-sharing talks with the opposition – he was now on a drive to secure power to the exclusion of the main opposition MDC party.

The unions said in a statement: Mugabe believes he can get away with this manoeuvre because of the clear signal he received from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – when they paraded him as head of state at the Summit on 16-17 August – that he should go right on.  

It was the worst possible message they could have given. The African Union is also treating him as a head of state and he is eagerly awaiting his next invitation.

COSATU – a longtime vocal opponent of Mugabe’s controversial rule – insists that the veteran Zimbabwean leader is illegitimately in power after his re-election in a June presidential run-off election boycotted by the opposition because of political violence. – ZimOnline

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