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Zimbabwe Faction Leader Calls For Opposition Unity Against Mugabe

Zimbabwean opposition leader Arthur Mutambara said Tuesday that rival factions of the Movement for Democratic Change should make reunification a priority in 2007.

Mutambara said in an interview that 2007 "is the year of action - we want the MDC to be involved in action, to confront and bring the regime of (President) Robert Mugabe to its knees." There was, he said, "no way whatsoever that the opposition can have any traction in Zimbabwe without working together."

The MDC split originated in October 2005 over the question of whether the opposition should contest senate elections held in November of that year. Mutambara later joined the so-called pro-senate faction as its president. MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai heads the rival faction which boycotted the senate election.

Mutambara says the opposition's top agenda item in 2007 must be cooperation. His faction and Tsvangirai's must “achieve a framework of effective cooperations,” and if the leaders of the opposition are unable to do this, then they should "ship out."

Mutambara said the country’s economic, social and political breakdown can be laid to the ruling party and President Mugabe. He stressed that the opposition’s focus should be to dislodge the ruling party instead of engaging in internal squabbling.

He also called on the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to exert themselves to rescue Zimbabwe, as its failure would be “their demise too.”

Mutambara expanded on his call for opposition unity in an interview with reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe. Rival faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai declined to comment on Mutambara's statement.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...