'US cannot dictate to Zimbabwe' – Ndlovu

Harare – The Zimbabwe regime on Friday slammed US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's call for Robert Mugabe to step down, saying it was not for Washington to "dictate" to the African nation.\r\n

"Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and cannot be dictated to by some secretary of state of another country no matter how big," said Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

"Zimbabweans are the ones who can tell Mugabe to leave office through a constitutional means," he said.

Rice made her comments Friday during a brief visit to Copenhagen.

‘It is well past time for Robert Mugabe to leave’

"It is well past time for Robert Mugabe to leave," she said. "I think that is now obvious.

"If this is not evident for the international community, that it is time to stand up for what is right, I don’t know what would be," she said.

But Ndlovu said the leadership of a sovereign state "cannot be determined by any other country except by the people of that country."

Zimbabwe has been in political limbo since elections in March when the opposition wrested control of parliament from Mugabe’s party and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pushed the veteran leader into second place in a presidential poll.

Tsvangirai pulled out of a run-off election in June, however, ensuring victory for Mugabe, after dozens of opposition supporters were killed in attacks blamed on Mugabe supporters.

‘Zimbabweans are the ones who can tell Mugabe to leave office’

A power-sharing deal between the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition MDC, signed in Harare on September 15, is yet to be implemented as political leaders struggle to reach agreement on the distribution of ministries. – AFP