Zimbabwe 'stable, peaceful' – Mugabe

Luanda – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has written to his Angolan counterpart insisting that his country is stable and peaceful, state media said Saturday, ahead of a regional summit on Harare's political tensions.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community meets next week in Namibia, where Mugabe will try to ease pressure on him after the regional bloc’s security organ chastised him in March for failing to rein in political violence.

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Zimbabwe Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, a close Mugabe ally, delivered the letter Friday at a meeting with Angolan Vice President Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, the state-run Jornal de Angola said.

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“The country is stable, and everything is happening in a peaceful environment,” he said after the meeting, according to the paper.

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Mnangagwa also said that Mugabe has “very good” relations with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his rival and partner in a fragile unity government.

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Mugabe came under unusually direct pressure from the regional bloc at a security summit in March, when leaders issued a thinly veiled rebuke at the ageing liberation leader for failing to stop political violence and dragging out the process of drafting a new constitution.

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After that summit, Mugabe dropped calls for holding new elections this year to replace the unity government.

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The summit on Friday in Windhoek is expected to follow up on Zimbabwe’s efforts to jump-start the constitutional process, and to examine the political deadlock in Madagascar.

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– AFP