No British, EU observers for Zimbabwe polls: Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe will not allow British and European Union election observers to the country's next elections whose date has yet to be set, a state daily reported Friday.
"We want observers who will not have any choice on who to assist and who not to assist. We abhor meddling in our own electoral affairs," The Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying when he received Britain's new ambassador to Zimbabwe.
"Britain should not be involved in such a campaign whether in our favour as ZANU-PF or against us. If there is to be any culprits, let it be others not the British."
Relations between Zimbabwe and former coloniser Britain soured after Mugabe launched controversial land reforms, seizing farms from white farmers and giving them to blacks in what Mugabe said was a correction of historical imbalances.
Following the fallout, Zimbabwe pulled out of the Commonwealth grouping while Britain and other EU countries imposed sanctions including travel embargoes and assets freezes on Mugabe and his close allies.
"How can we invite people who have imposed sanctions on us to be our observers?" said Mugabe.
"By imposing sanctions those people have demonstrated dislike of one side. If Britain does not want to assist us, they should leave us alone. We will find our way out but you must remove sanctions."
Zimbabwe will hold elections to chose a successor to a power-sharing government formed two years ago by Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai in the aftermath of a bloody presidential run-off election in 2008.
© 2011 AFP