|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
We must be prepared to withstand these actions by Britain and its allies
President Robert Mugabe
"What will I be wanting in Europe? We can visit other countries in Asia and Africa," the president declared.
He enjoys the backing of many African leaders who regard EU sanctions as an attempt by Europe to undermine Africa's democracy.
Early this week, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who has mediated between Zimbabwe and Britain, wanted to know which democratic principles Mr Mugabe was accused of abusing.
He praised Mr Mugabe for allowing parties other than his own to go into the elections.
In Tanzania, President Benjamin Mkapa told a public meeting in the northern town of Moshi on Wednesday, that Africa was not going to allow Europe to repeat the 19th century history of partitioning Africa in 2002.
He said it was high time Africans started resisting European pressure over how they should govern themselves.
Mr Mkapa said Europe had to allow Zimbabweans to make their own decisions in choosing their leaders and that Tanzanians would continue to support that process.
President Mugabe has recently been seeking closer ties with Asian nations such as Malaysia and Thailand, while in Africa his closest ally is Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"We must be prepared to withstand these actions by Britain and its allies," he said.
Mr Mugabe said sanctions would not deter him from his controversial scheme to take land from whites and give it to landless blacks.
The government has allowed observers from the Southern African Development Community and the Commonwealth to monitor next month's presidential election.
However, the 100-strong South African team has already expressed concern over the increasing violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe, just a week before the election.
The head of South Africa's election observer mission, Sam Motsuenyane, criticised the stoning this week of the Harare headquarters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by ruling Zanu-PF party supporters.
Meanwhile, the United Nations World Food Programme has begun distributing emergency food supplies to some of the 500,000 people it says are seriously threatened by shortages.
WFP spokesman in Harare, Pierre Saillez, said 40,000 villagers in the west of the country had been given a month's supply of the staple food, maize meal.
He warned that without further contributions from donors, deliveries could soon be halted.
The agency believes potential contributors may be holding back because of uncertainty surrounding the election.
Correspondents say the food shortages have been caused by the government's land redistribution programme, severe economic problems and bad weather.