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Robert Mugabe Vows to Take Over More Companies

President Robert Mugabe has said Zimbabwe must take over all foreign-owned companies and that even if an inclusive government is formed he will never allow any land seized from whites to be returned to them. Mr. Mugabe was speaking at the closing of a three day annual conference of his Zanu PF Party.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe made repeated denouncements of the West, claiming that Britain in particular would invade Zimbabwe, using the ongoing cholera epidemic as an excuse. He also said "Zimbabwe is mine", and repeatedly used the word "never" when talking about Britain, saying it would "never" recolonize Zimbabwe.

Mr. Mugabe said he had taken control of agriculture by seizing nearly all white-owned farms, and that it is now time to take over all foreign companies, in particular foreign-owned banks.

During the conference attended by about seven-thousand members of Zanu PF, Mr. Mugabe also said he had sent letters inviting MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai to be sworn in as prime minister.

Mr. Tsvangirai says he has not received Mr. Mugabe's letter and that unless more than 40 MDC and civil rights activists, who have been abducted are released or charged in court, he will have no more contact with Zanu PF beyond January 1, including any outstanding issues for negotiations for an inclusive government.

The Zanu PF was the majority party from Zimbabwe's 1980 independence, but lost control of parliament to the Movement for Democratic Change in March.

Mr. Mugabe said the MDC is staying out of an inclusive government, facilitated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, because the Party believes that he and Zanu PF would collapse. But Mr. Mugabe warned the MDC that no matter how tough the conditions become, he will never abandon control of the country.

In an inclusive government, if it is ever formed, Mr. Mugabe would remain as president but with heavily reduced powers and would share ministries with the MDC.

There has been no government in Zimbabwe for nearly 10 months.

Mr. Tsvangirai polled the most votes in first round of the presidential election in March, but after five weeks Mr. Mugabe's electoral commission said no candidate received the required 50 percent of the vote. Following the election nearly 200 MDC supporters were killed and many thousands injured. Mr. Tsvangirai pulled out of the second round election citing the violence.