A belligerent Mugabe insisted on Sunday the bans imposed on him and 95 other officials against visiting the European Union and the US should not derail Zimbabwe.

"We just can't mourn and bemoan because the West are imposing sanctions against us. We must be able to find ways of surviving," he said.

"There are countries that have had worse sanctions than ourselves, like Cuba. But there they continued going and the people are even more united," he added.

Discovering East

Mugabe last year announced he would not bother trying to deal with the US and countries in the European Union, particularly the UK, and would turn his attention to the East for trade, aid, investment and even tourism.

"The West is not the only source of assistance, nor is the only area of market," Mugabe pointed out.

"Time has now come not just for Zimbabwe but for the Third World to realise that the sun rises in the East. Let's look to the East where the sun rises.

"That's where the majority of the people of this world are, that's where we also get the greatest support because the East is the Third World. It sees things the same way we see them, thinks as we do, dreams as ourselves, so they are our greatest friends," the president said.