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"The Western countries, in particular the United States, and the European Union still impose illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe, to our surprise … and refused to remove those sanctions," he said in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly.

Mugabe has sent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader, to Europe and America to lobby for lifting of the sanctions and a restoration of foreign aid and investment. He’s had little success.

But the European Union and other Western nations say the coalition, formed in February, has not done enough to restore the rule of law and begin democratic reform, blaming Mugabe and high-level loyalists for resisting change.

Mugabe seemed baffled by the persistent embargo, by the wealthy Western nations.

"We wonder what their motives are? And we ask what they would see us do?"

"Where stand their humanitarian principles, we ask, when their illegal sanctions are ruining the lives of our children?"

Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown began after Mugabe ordered the seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms in 2000, disrupting the agriculture-based economy in the former regional breadbasket.

His critics point to continuing human rights violations, land seizures and laws requiring a majority local stake in foreign firms.

Last night, a surprisingly jittery and agitated Robert Mugabe performed dismally live on a CNN interview in which he condemned "unjustified" Western sanctions against his country saying they were being used to force him from power.

In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Mugabe said he would use an address to the United Nations General Assembly this week to call for their lifting.

In the first interview with a major Western media outlet in years, the purpose of which was to explore the historic power-sharing agreement with the unity government, and get the his thoughts on the highly-emotive issue of land redistribution,  surprisingly to many, the usual Robert Mugabe swagger and confidence all but evaporated under professional interrogation by the CNN reporter.

Jacob Zuma who was interviewed after Mugabe, by the same CNN reporter and in the same ferocity, did very well by exibiting Statesmanship and calmness than the Zimbabwean leader.

The Zimbabwean dictator is used to relaxed controlled Zimbabwe State Broadcasting interviews conducted by party faithful masquerading as journalists and pausing selected questions, but on this particular occassion, Mugabe looked desparate, shaky and clinging to the desk, with his red eyes rolling out as he lost the plot from the begining.

His body language left him exposed as just an arrogant old man and last night some of his staunch supporters openly expressed their disappointment. In the end it was a none event. Nothing new from the Southern African dictator, and there will be nothing new at the UN General Assembly address. As predictable as Jonathan Moyo’s articles.

Mugabe’s poor show, particulary in articulating his translation of the so called Global Political Agreement, failed to match the high standards set by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai when he visited Western countries. In this instance, Tsvangirai looks more like an intellectual, a better politician than Robert Mugabe.