Friday, March 16, 2007

Morgan Tsvangirai appeals for international support

Tsvangirai, as readers will note, was arrested and beaten by Zimbabwean police at an opposition meeting, along with several other members of the political opposition to Mugabe. I believe that at least one person has been killed in state-condoned violence. Tsvangirai lost an election widely believed to have been rigged in 2002.

"Speaking from his hospital bed, in his first interview since being badly beaten by Mr Mugabe’s thugs, Morgan Tsvangirai vowed to fight on to win democracy for the former British colony.

He insisted that change was "within sight" for the country, but insisted that opposition leaders needed help from foreign powers.

Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said:"Yes, they brutalised my flesh. But they will never break my spirit. I will soldier on until Zimbabwe is free."

"Mr Tsvangirai described how a peaceable meeting organised by local churches was broken up by police officers acting under Mr Mugabe’s orders. Several officials from the MDC party were arrested and taken to a police station. Mr Tsvangirai went there to appeal for their release.

He said: "Upon my arrival at Machipisa Police Station, all hell broke loose. I was pulled out of my car by heavily built men in police gear and they began smashing my head against the wall while pushing me inside the station

."The orgy of heavy beatings continued once we were all inside the station. They were mostly targeting my head and my face.

"The assaults, punctuated with obscene verbal attacks on my person, my family, my party the MDC, and my supporters continued for a long time.

"It was all like a bad dream. I felt like my head had been smashed open or I had been partially decapitated. I passed out three times, I was later told by eyewitnesses."

Tim Hall and Agencies, writing for Telegraph (UK)


Mugabe claims that the opposition is waging a violent campaign to oust him, and has warned that they will pay a "heavy price". Political tensions have escalated recently, as the 83 year-old dictator is planning to extend his rule, possibly until 2014. As far as I know, the violence has been mostly on Mugabe's side.

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