Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
ARKANSAS, US - Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said on Friday that while the seizures of land from white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe were "a bit harsh," opposition forces brought the push by President Robert Mugabe upon themselves.
In a speech at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Mwanawasa held to his stance that Western powers must be willing to talk to Mugabe.
The UK has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ask Mugabe not to attend a December summit of European and African leaders.
Mwanawasa, as head of the SADC, said talking to Mugabe would be the only way to address concerns.
"Those of you abroad . consider the answer is there must be real change. There must be a new initiative to bring about change," Mwanawasa told students.
"But I have a message for you, that dialogue is the most important tool.
"You talk to him, give him your message and let him talk, let him speak, and you'll find you'll be getting better results," he said.
Mugabe pushed for the often violent seizures by blacks of thousands of white-owned commercial farms.
The seizures, which began in 2000, disrupted agriculture in a country once considered southern Africa's breadbasket, causing official inflation of nearly 7000percent and citizens to flee.
"The issue in Zimbabwe is over land," Mwanawasa said.
"They took things in a manner in which you and I might say is wrong . it was a bit harsh. But I think those in the opposition invited it."
Mugabe responded to domestic pressures with a crackdown on dissent. Britain estimates that 100000 Zimbabweans a month are fleeing their homeland, a country of 12,5million, to settle illegally in South Africa.
Earlier this week, Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party began a legislative process in parliament aimed at approving a law that calls for whites to hand over 51percent of their business interests to blacks. The bill prompted an acrimonious debate with opposition lawmakers calling the measure racist, unconstitutional and against accepted principles of equality.
An estimated 30000 whites still live in Zimbabwe, down from about 275000 at independence.
Mwanawasa, who travelled to Arkansas with Zambian government officials, did not take questions from reporters after his remarks at the Clinton School.
He won the Zambian presidency in 2001 with only 29percent of the vote, but later instituted anti-corruption policies.
The World Bank and other lending institutes agreed in 2005 to cancel nearly all of Zambia's R50billion foreign debt.
Mwanawasa travelled to Arkansas to give a speech at Harding University in Searcy and received an honorary doctorate from the private Christian college. -Sapa-AP