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Zimbabwe Opposition Will Honor Liberation Heroes - But Boycott Mugabe

Both factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change said they will join the rest of the country in observing Heroes Day on Monday, August 13.

The Harare government has organized a schedule of events including a musical show in Chinhoyi beginning Friday evening and continuing until Saturday morning.

Wreaths will be laid Monday at the tombs of fallen liberation fighters by relatives and officials at all provincial heroes monuments and at the national Heroes Acre outside Harare, where President Robert Mugabe is expected to speak.

The MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai said it will join families of fallen heroes and fighters still living in marking the day - but said it will join the president and ruling party at the national event only after Mr. Mugabe stops insulting opposition leaders.

Tsvangirai faction spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the formation also objects to the criteria for selecting heroes, saying they are partisan and not representative.

Speaking for the rival Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC, Gabriel Chaibva said Heroes Day is a national event that knows no party or tribe, and that Mutambara faction officials and members all over the country will honor the fallen.

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