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Friday, June 13, 2008

Mugabe promotes war over democracy; time for AU to cut him loose

It's sad when a great leader becomes a despot ...

HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe raised the spectre of war on Friday by warning his staunchest supporters are ready to take up arms rather than let the opposition triumph in a June 27 election.

In comments carried by state media, the 84-year-old said veterans of the 1970s liberation war had told him they were ready to go into battle once more to avoid the prospect of Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai coming to power after the run-off in a fortnight's time.

Although Mugabe told supporters of his ZANU-PF party he did not want a return to war, he repeatedly raised the threat of conflict and warned voters against making a "mistake".

His remarks added to the fevered poll build-up after Tsvangirai was twice detained while campaigning Thursday and a top lieutenant arrested for treason.

Tsvangirai also saw his two campaign buses impounded on Friday in a move the MDC said was designed to cripple his campaign.

Meanwhile a group of 40 leading Africans, including ex-UN chief Kofi Annan and Mozambique's former president Joaquim Chissano, said in an open letter they were "deeply troubled" by reports of intimidation, harassment and violence.

Neighbouring Botswana said it was "deeply disturbed" by the unfolding events, summoning Zimbabwe's ambassador to Gaborone to protest the "unacceptable" detentions of the opposition top brass.

The Mugabe regime was also facing condemnation from the UN after warnings that some 500,000 Zimbabwean children are no longer getting urgent food and medical aid since charities were ordered to halt their work.

Full article at: Robert Mugabe threatens war against democratic opposition

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