South African President Thabo Mbeki is in Zimbabwe for talks with
President Robert Mugabe ahead of next week's controversial runoff
Mr. Mbeki is leading regional efforts to resolve
Zimbabwe's political crisis, but critics say he and other African
leaders have not taken a strong enough stand with Mr. Mugabe.
African leaders are growing impatient with the Mugabe government,
however. Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said this week that
Zimbabwe's first presidential election in March was rigged. He urged
Mr. Mugabe to step down from office, after ruling Zimbabwe since 1980.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote in a British newspaper The
Financial Times Wednesday that the winner of an unfair vote will not
have the legitimacy to govern Zimbabwe.
He urged the country's
feuding politicians to forge an agreement that would facilitate
cooperation after the June 27 runoff election.
election commission called a second round of voting after opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai won more votes than Mr. Mugabe in the March
election, but according to official results, did not win enough for a
Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change
has accused Mr. Mugabe's supports of carrying out a campaign of
violence and intimidation ahead of the second round of voting.
international community also has become increasingly concerned about
the government's crackdown on opposition supporters and foreign aid
United Nations Human Rights Chief Louise Arbour said Wednesday that Zimbabwe has expelled one of her staff members. She said
the U.N. official was kicked out on Tuesday, the same day Mr. Mugabe
met a special U.N. envoy (Haile Menkerios) to discuss the political
Zimbabwean state media report the government has lifted
a ban on some aid groups that run food and AIDS programs in the
The government had imposed the ban earlier this month, accusing the groups of supporting the opposition party.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.