Raila now wants AU to expel Mugabe

July 1, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, June 30-The controversial run-off election in Zimbabwe that saw President Robert Mugabe declared winner in the solitary race continued to draw rage from leaders Monday with calls for his suspension from the African Union (AU), subject to a fresh and legitimate election in the Southern African country.

Prime Minster Raila Odinga, speaking in Nairobi, called for immediate suspension of Mugabe from the AU summit in Shaam-el-Sheikh in Egypt.

Raila reiterated calls for the deployment of AU troops in to Zimbabwe to keep peace.

He said failure by the AU to suspend Mugabe would set a dangerous precedence for the continent’s quest for democracy.

"The African Union should not accept or entertain Mugabe, until he agrees to allow the AU to facilitate a free and fair election between him and his opponent," Odinga said.

Mugabe flew to Egypt on Monday to attend the AU conference where various heads of state and Government are attending the sessions of the assembly of the African unifying  body.

The Prime Minister spoke after emerging form a meeting with United States Senator Bill Nielson, who  on his part, insisted that the US wants "to see law and order restored in Zimbabwe before any assistance could be rendered."

"What America wants to see is law and order restored in Zimbabwe with a legitimately elected government," said Senator Nielson.

These stern remarks from the two leaders came even as defiant Mugabe was Sunday declared ‘winner’ in the much criticized election that has been widely described as a ‘sham’.

He was later sworn in for another term in Zimbabwe, shortly after the declaration by the country’s election commission that he won with more than 85 percent of the votes cast.

This becomes Mugabe’s sixth term that would stretch his rule to a 33-year monotony at the helm of the country that was once described as "the jewel of Africa".

Meanwhile, the US government, through the visiting Senator, pledged to increase its monetary support to Kenya in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Kenya.

Senator Bill Nielson said his government would extend a grant of Sh4.8 billion to Kenya under an emergency funding bill that is yet to be considered by the congress.

Senator Nielson said the amount was part of an increased funding initiative aimed at tackling the AIDS pandemic in Africa, which he noted had been successful.

"We are now going to increase the money coming for AIDS in Africa because it has been a tremendous success," said the Florida senator.

The Florida Senator had paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, with whom he had held talks back in the US during the premier’s official tour to the Western country.


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