Mugabe raises spectre of war

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, pictured, said on Saturday the opposition would never govern during his lifetime and he is ready to fight on less than two weeks ahead of a tense run-off election.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, pictured, said on Saturday the opposition would never govern during his lifetime and he is ready to fight on less than two weeks ahead of a tense run-off election.

"Should this country be taken by traitors ... it is impossible," Mugabe said, referring to the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in a speech at the burial of a former independence fighter.

"It shall never happen ... as long as I'm alive and those who fought for the country are alive," he said. "We are prepared to fight for our country and to go to war for it."

Mugabe also raised the spectre of war on Friday if his arch-rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the MDC, wins the June 27 second-round election.

The opposition accused authorities of trying to "cripple" their campaign.

Mugabe has ruled the country since independence from Britain in 1980. Since he began his land reforms at the turn of this decade, the economy has gone into free fall.

Inflation, officially put at 165000percent, is thought to be nearer 2millionpercent, while food shortages are widespread.

Tsvangirai has insisted that he passed the 50percent threshold in the first-round vote on March 29, but is nevertheless taking part in the run-off because he knows a boycott would hand victory to Mugabe. - Sapa-AFP

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