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Prime Minister Tsvangirai Says Egypt-Style Revolt Not Right for Zimbabwe


Mr. Tsvangirai said every country has different conditions and that it is unrealistic to expect the political upheaval in North Africa to be repeated in Zimbabwe, where his party is sharing power in government

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed criticism from some Western observers who say his former opposition Movement for Democratic Change party should have employed Egyptian-style protests to force President Robert Mugabe out of office.

Mr. Tsvangirai said every country has different conditions and that it is unrealistic to expect the political upheaval in North Africa to be repeated in Zimbabwe, where his MDC and a smaller MDC formation are in government with Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

The prime minister also underscored his commitment to non-violent change.

Addressing supporters at a rally Sunday in Chegutu, Mashonaland West province, Mr. Tsvangirai declared: “Yes, those in Egypt might have gone to the city and toppled the government while those in Libya had to take weapons; in Malawi they are in the streets. But I want to tell foreigners who have been saying the MDC is this or that, they have to know that each struggle has its own milestones.”

But Mr. Tsvangirai said his party’s tactics could change depending on circumstances.

Tsvangirai MDC deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira that the MDC has agreed that the question of taking to the streets to demand change is one that the people of Zimbabwe must decide.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said Mr. Tsvangirai and others in the leadership of the former opposition have experienced years of political repression, arrests and physical abuse, which they must take into account in determining their strategy.

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