26 Jul 2012

Mutual respect with Mugabe, says Zimbabwe PM

9:50 pm on 26 July 2012

Zimbabwean prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he has to maintain mutual respect with President Robert Mugabe to help run the country.

Dr Tsvangirai has been visiting New Zealand to ask it to lift or suspend financial sanctions it imposed 10 years ago.

He says he has worked well with Mr Mugabe in their first two years of shared power to stabilise Zimbabwe's economy and improve its education, health and water systems.

However, talk of free and fair elections has led to them both falling back into political opposition, he says, and things have not gone so well in the past six months.

But Dr Tsvangirai says that will not stop elections from going ahead.

He says a referendum on a new constitution, which will set up a road map for elections, will take place in the next two months.