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Harare Makes Concession in Dropping Treason Charge - Analyst

State prosecutors have withdrawn the last treason charge facing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Though Mr. Tsvangirai was acquitted of treason in October 2004, he faced a second set of treason charges arising from the “Final Push” street protests which the MDC organized in June 2003.

Prosecutor Florence Ziyambi announced the withdrawal of charges but offered no explanation. International Crisis Group analyst Sydney Masamvu described the decision as a diversionary tactic by President Mugabe, arguing that the opposition should continue to press for political and economic reform.

But independent analyst Obri Mashiq, like Mr. Masamyu based in South Africa, said Mr. Mugabe is coming under heavy pressure from Pretoria to open up a democratic space in Zimbabwe, and probably made a concession here.

More stories from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe