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Zimbabwe becoming a police state: Tsvangirai

Harare , Sat, 19 Mar 2011 ANI

Harare, Mar.19 (ANI): Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said that the country is sliding into a 'police state' and regional leaders should intervene to save the shaky coalition he formed with President Robert Mugabe two years ago, after police banned a rally that he was due to address.


Tsvangirai said that Zimbabwe was in "siege mood" and pleaded for the intervention of the inter-governmental body, the Southern African Development Community.


Police banned the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rally as it was being held "too close" to Mugabe's Zanu-PF party office.


Police chief Garikai Gwangwava said Mugabe's party had also planned a rally at its headquarters, which was 500 meters away from the MDC's chosen venue adding that this could cause clashes between the two groups.


However, Tsvangirai complained that police had blocked many MDC meetings in the past, and vowed to do "everything" to ensure the rally took place, The Scotsman reports.


Tsvangirai said: " It appears to me that the civilian authority is being undermined and we are fast deteriorating into a police state. So many excuses have been given to try to prevent this meeting from taking place."


Mugabe's supporters seem to have launched an unprecedented crackdown on Tsvangirai's supporters and other perceived opponents in the last two months. Dozens of activists who watched DVDs on the North African uprisings were detained on treason charges in February, while at least five MDC MPs have been arrested.


Energy minister Elton Mangoma has blamed Mugabe for his arrest on charges of flouting tender procedures. The judge who freed the minister had slammed the insufficient evidence against him.


However, police continue their drive to arrest more MDC MPs ahead of a crucial parliamentary vote to replace the MDC speaker, who had been suspended last week by a Supreme Court that is now almost under the Zanu-PF control. (ANI)


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