'Africa won't give up on Zimbabwe' – Nigerian President

"I assure you that the African Union will not relent until we see the end to this crisis in Zimbabwe," Yar’Adua told reporters after talks with Zambia’s new President Rupiah Banda, who is on his first foreign visit since his election last month.

"We discussed the crisis there (in Zimbabwe), especially the worsening humanitarian crisis and seeming breakdown of negotiations in terms of implementation of the (power-sharing) agreement signed," Yar’Adua added.

He said their talks focused on "ways in which both Nigeria and Zambia… can play a role, to try to bring the implementation of the agreement signed to fruition and how we can deal, within the context of the AU, with the worsening humanitarian crisis".

A cholera outbreak has exploded across the country, killing almost 400 people at the last count.

Zimbabwe’s shattered economy is struggling with the world’s highest rate of inflation, last estimated at 231 million per cent in July.

Banda’s predecessor, the late Levy Mwanawasa, once likened the state of neighbouring Zimbabwe’s economy to the "sinking Titanic". – AFP