President Robert Mugabe won a show of support from neighbouring Zambia with its vice-president, Rupiah Banda, calling him one of the world's great leaders who had shown courage by embarking on his controversial land reform programme in the face of Western criticism, and stating that any problems in Zimbabwe should be resolved among Africans.
"We are proud to stand in front of the world and say this is our brother and that any problems here or in Zambia can be solved by ourselves within the context of our continent and our organisation," Banda said after meeting Mugabe in Harare on 19 April.
"Zimbabwe is a sovereign state which should be respected by all, and that within its sovereignty, its people [should] decide who is their leader. As far as we are concerned, right here (pointing at Mugabe), we have one of the most outstanding leaders in the world and in Africa," the vice-president said.
Banda is seen as close to Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, who recently warned against the "demonisation" of his old...