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Zimbabwe's MDC Distances Itself From Minister's Comments on Police, Sanctions

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Affairs was distancing itself Wednesday from comments attributed to MDC Home Affairs Co-Minister Giles Mutsekwa blaming Western sanctions for the shortcomings of police.

The Herald quoted Mutsekwa as commending the Zimbabwe Republic Police in remarks to the general assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization in Singapore, saying that the national police force had maintained its integrity despite “machinations” by the country’s unnamed detractors bent on bringing about its collapse.

It said he praised the police, accused by rights activists for numerous abuses, for maintaining operations despite “illegal sanctions” which he said have damaged its capacities.

VOA was unable to reach Mutsekwa, who was said to be in transit returning from Singapore.

But Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party’s leadership does not agree with Mutsekwa and will take up his reported comments with him upon his return to Harare.

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