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British PM: Patience With Mugabe Running Out


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that the international community's patience with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is running out. As Tendai Maphosa reports from London, Mr. Brown said he is "appalled" at the latest developments in the country.

In his strongest attack on the Zimbabwean leader since general elections in Zimbabwe two weeks ago, Prime Minister Brown said he does not understand why it is taking so long to announce the election result. Speaking on British television, Mr. Brown said he is appalled by signs that Mr. Mugabe is once again resorting to violence and intimidation.

"The international community will look to Zimbabwe for a declaration of elections and of elections and if there is to be a future election that there is proper international monitoring of what's going on," he said. "The whole eyes of the world are on Zimbabwe now."

Mr. Brown's comments came before an emergency meeting in Zambia of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The meeting, in the capital Lusaka, was called to discuss the failure of Zimbabwe's electoral commission to announce results of the voting two weeks ago, and the ensuing political crisis.

Mr. Mugabe is not attending the meeting. He has said there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.

En route to Lusaka on Saturday, South African president Thabo Mbeki stopped in Harare to meet with Mr. Mugabe.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Mugabe said he does not think much of Mr. Brown.

"Brown is the world," he said. "Sure, the world is losing patience, but I know Brown is a little, tiny dot."

So far, Zimbabwe's electoral commission has announced only parliamentary results of the national elections two weeks ago.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has claimed victory over Mr. Mugabe in the presidential contest. State media have suggested that none of the candidates won a majority and that a second-round run-off will be necessary.

The MDC has now accused Mr. Mugabe of staging a coup d'etat. It has appealed to the High Court to force the commission to publish the election results.

A Zimbabwean High Court judge has said he will rule Monday on the appeal.

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