Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Thursday condemned “unjustified” Western sanctions against his country saying they were being used to force him from power.
In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Mugabe said he would use an address to the United Nations General Assembly this week to call for their lifting. “Yes I will call for sanctions to lifted. They are unjustified and illegal and meant for regime change,” he told Amanpour. Mugabe, giving his first major Western network interview for at least five years, also defended his government’s record in the face of international accusations that he has driven a once-prosperous country to the brink of ruin. “It is not a basket case at all,” he said. “Things are much better in terms of food. We have had hard years… years of drought. Sanctions as well. Combine effects of drought and sanctions and what do you get”
Mugabe also defended controversial policies that saw white Zimbabwean farmers have their land seized in the name of redressing colonial-era inequalities. The president, who has ruled the country for nearly three decades, insisted a power-sharing agreement with political opponents was genuine despite the arrest of several prominent opposition politicians. Watch Mugabe talk about power-sharing