British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told parliament that his
government does not recognize the government of Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe. He also said Britain is working with the international
community to increase pressure on Zimbabwe. Tendai Maphosa reports
The increasingly violent repression in Zimbabwe
before Friday's run-off presidential elections is sparking harsh
condemnation from world leaders.
In London, Prime Minister
Gordon Brown told parliament the international community must speak
with one voice and take action against President Mugabe's government.
to a suggestion by the leader of the opposition Conservative Party
David Cameron to withdraw international recognition of the Zimbabwean
government, Mr. Brown said Britain does not recognize the current
"As far as recognition is concerned I
made it absolutely clear we do not recognize the regime as legitimate.
That has been made clear for many, many weeks and months," he said.
on, Foreign Secretary David Miliband explained that while the British
government cannot "de-recognize the state of Zimbabwe,
Mr. Mugabe's government is another matter."
"We do not believe
that a government which has clubbed its way to victory and which has
defied the constitution which requires a second round within 30 days of
the first round of the election can claim to be the legitimate
representative of the Zimbabwean people," he said.
said the violent campaign by Mr. Mugabe's supporters against the
opposition, left opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai with no option but
to withdraw from Friday's presidential runoff poll.
was set for the most rigged election in African history, the failure is
not of the opposition but of the government," he said. "Robert Mugabe
and his thugs made an election impossible certainly made the notion of
a free and fair election farcical. It is clear that the only people
with democratic legitimacy are those who won the parliamentary majority
on the 29th of March and those who took the most votes in the
presidential election and that was of course the opposition."
Tsvangirai won the most votes in the presidential election on March 29,
but the Zimbabwe Election Commission ruled that he did not gain an
outright majority. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change also
won the parliamentary elections and most local government elections.
the parliamentary session in London on Monday, Prime Minister Brown
repeated the threat of more pressure on the Zimbabwean government. He
said the British government had asked the European Union to consider
further financial sanctions against the 130 people already on the EU
travel ban list. He said the sanctions might also target other
individuals and be extended to their families.
"We know the
names of those who have been responsible for running the criminal cabal
surrounding Mugabe in Zimbabwe and we are determined to force through
the sanctions and also to track down the money in their accounts in
other countries," Brown said.
Dozens of opposition supporters
are reported to have been killed in election-related violence in recent
weeks. After announcing he would not contest Friday's run-off because
of the violence, Mr. Tsvangirai sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in
Harare, fearing for his safety.