Two weeks before the presidential elections in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe accuses the opposition leader of planning an assassination attempt.
The leader of the main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been formally accused of treason due to his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate Mugabe. Tsvangirai described this move as “a political tragedy of the worst kind”, as two other leading members of the MDC are summoned for questioning.
The accusation against Tsvangirai comes after supposed evidence provided by Ari Ben-Menashe, an Israeli ex-secret agent, who declared to Australian channel SBS that the plot was being hatched, basing his evidence on an interview given by Tsvangirai in Montreal in December 2001.
Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, stated that this case is very strange because his client has not been arrested and he has been freed without any bail being set.
As the date for the elections draws near (9th and 10th March), the international observers say that they fear for their lives, after three attacks on them by Mugabe supporters. Nosiviwe Mapisa Ngakula, the leader of the group of South African Members of Parliament sent to accompany the election process, declared that “Obviously I am very worried and it is my responsibility to fight for the safety of the delegation”. She added, “We condemn all acts of violence directed against the observers and appeal to the authorities to guarantee their protection”.
In one such attack, in Banket, the local police refused to help the observers who had been set on by a howling mob. The tension rises by the day in Zimbabwe, a country ruined by the short-sightedness of Robert Mugabe, the symptom of all of Africa’s ills.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru