"I went to Oxford, taught at MIT, a Rhodes scholar, I'm better than Obama too" – Mutambara

Speaking in South Africa, DPM Mutambara said Zimbabwe was better guided by Sadc and the African Union, and that Zimba-bweans have the last say on the way forward politically.

Internet news sites also quoted him as saying although the inclusive Government had a two-year lifespan — from September 2008 to September 2010 — there was room to keep the arrangement in place if conditions on the ground so required.

"There are two major reasons why there is scepticism (about the inclusive Government by Western countries), one of them is sheer ignorance and arrogance on the part of the West.

"I went to Oxford — I taught at MIT, I’m a Rhodes scholar. I think it’s fair to say that I know better than (US President Barack) Obama what is good for Zimbabwe, that I know better than Mrs Hillary Clinton what is good for Zimbabwe.

"So it is very arrogant and patronising for Hillary or Obama to prescribe what is best for Zimbabwe without talking to me first.

"In my opinion, the starting point is to remove ignorance and to remove arrogance on the part of the West vis-à-vis what’s good for Africa," he said.

"So we, for example in this inclusive Govern-ment, we are guided by Sadc member countries, they said ‘do it in your country’s national interest’.

"Once they advise us to do that, we cannot succeed if we go up against them.

"So the greatest influence over the future of Zimbabwean politics lies not with the intervention of Western governments, but rather lies with Africa and the will of the African people," he said.

DPM Mutambara said Zimbabweans were best placed to know their needs, adding that the inclusive Government was the best alternative at the moment for the governance of the country.

He also said the problems Zimbabwe was facing were not insurmountable.

"Our people are experiencing a new reality. Yes, there are problems, yes there are challenges, but they are not insurmountable."

On elections, he said while the GPA said they should be held within two years of the signing of the agreement, what was more important was the creation of conditions so that the poll outcome would not be disputed.