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Mugabe, Tsvangirai Exchange Barbs In Zimbabwe Presidential Run-Off Campaign

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said Saturday that he will never allow the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and its presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, come to power, warning that he would go to war if necessary to defend national sovereignty.

Tsvangirai countered that Mr. Mugabe's remarks were "irresponsible" and "anathema to the democratic process," calling for the president to step down.

Correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from the Heroes Acre memorial outside Harare where Mr. Mugabe spoke at the burial of liberation war hero Lt. Gen Amoth Chingombe.

Meanwhile, police in Midlands province detained Tsvangirai as he tried to campaign - it was the fifth time Tsvangirai had been detained by authorities in recent days.

Reached after his release, Tsvangirai said police interference and even the seizure of campaign vehicles this past week wouldn't keep him from seeking the national

Tsvangirai told VOA reporter Chinedu Offor that Mr. Mugabe's statement that he'd never let the opposition come to power was irresponsible and unstatesmanlike

Police in Harare Saturday brought MDC Secretary Tendai Biti to court Saturday in chains - though only receiving a second high court order to do so. A high court judge ordered Friday that Biti should be produced in court for arraignment on Saturday, but the court was obliged to issue a fresh order when police failed to comply with the first order.

Biti, who was arrested Thursday at the Harare airport following his arrival from Johannesburg, South Africa, on charges of treason related to statements about the March 29 elections.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported from court.

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