Harare: Asking the US to back off from Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday that Washington should stop interfering in the electoral process of his country.
Addressing a rally in the rural town of Chinhoyi, 115 km from Harare, Mugabe said the US should not lecture Zimbabwe on conducting its polls, Xinhua reported.
The 89-year-old leader is on US sanction list since 2001. He is seeking to extend his 33-year rule of the country since independence from Britain in 1980.
"America must be mad, absolutely insane for anyone like Ventrell to suggest that our elections must not be held even after the expiry of the term of Parliament, because some political party is arguing that there are no reforms in the media and security sectors," Mugabe said.
On Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, said the US was "deeply concerned" by lack of transparency in preparations for Zimbabwe`s July 31 General Election, and called on the government to ensure the vote was peaceful, fair and credible.
The urge seems to echo the repeated calls of Mugabe`s long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is contesting for the presidency for the third time since 2002.
Tsvangirai was forced into an uncomfortable inclusive government with Mugabe in the wake of disputed and violent polls in 2008.