News and Information

MDC leader branded 'top state enemy'
November 19, 2004
Harare - President Robert Mugabe's government has labelled opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai state enemy number one, the official media have reported.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted in the state-controlled daily Herald as telling parliament that Tsvangirai was the government's worst enemy for his lobbying for sanctions against his countrymen.

"I can't think of any other description other than to say state enemy number one," he said.

"If Mr Tsvangirai called for sanctions, I don't expect he would want to return to this country," he added, referring to Tsvangirai's tour overseas and implying that action would be taken against the head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) when he returned.

I don't expect he would want to return to this country
Former trade union leader Tsvangirai has been on an international tour for nearly three weeks.

Government officials returned his passport after his acquittal on treason charges in October.

A campaign of smart sanctions against Mugabe and his political inner circle began in 2001 in retaliation for the Zimbabwean government's violent repression of opponents and lawless seizure of white-owned farm land.

Tsvangirai left Harare on October 23 for talks with Southern African leaders, flew to West Africa, where he met the leaders of Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Burkina Faso, and then to Europe.

On Wednesday, he was in Sweden. He is also to visit Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands and is to meet European Union leaders and the EU secretariat.

In London, he is to speak to some of the 1,2 million Zimbabweans who have fled economic collapse and political repression to live in Britain.

Tsvangirai has been urging international leaders to compel Mugabe to stick to accepted guidelines for elections set for March.


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