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Zimbabwe Pulls Out Of ACP-EU Joint Session Over Denial Of Visas

Zimbabwe's official parliamentary delegation has withdrawn from a joint assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific lawmakers with their European counterparts, following Germany's denial of visas to two Zimbabwean ruling party legislators, sources said.

The German Embassy in Harare refused to give visas to delegation secretary Godfrey Chipare and Forbes Magadu, a senator, both of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Sources said Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma sent a memo to other legislators who were scheduled to leave Harare on Sunday for the ACP-EU assembly in Wiesbaden, Germany, informing them Harare had decided to withdraw its participation.

The ACP–EU joint assembly, scheduled to run from June 23 to June 28, is expected to take up Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis among other items.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, was assaulted by suspected state agents in March at the Harare airport as he was about to leave for an ACP-EU meeting in Brussels.

Chamisa tells reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government seized on the denial of visas to avoid attending the Wiesbaden session, noting that he received a visa as did a ZANU-PF senator, Clarissa Muchengeti.

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