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Zimbabwean Opposition Leader Suspended Over Charges

  • Peter Clottey

In Zimbabwe, the leader of the main opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangarai, was suspended from all party activities on charges of misconduct Sunday. Mr. Tsvangarai says he received the suspension letter, which he dismisses, from Vice President Gibson Sibanda. In the letter, dated November 24th, Mr. Sibanda accuses Mr. Tsvangirai of violating the party's constitution, among other things, by calling for a poll boycott. Sources say a split in the opposition party deepened over this weekend's controversial Senate elections. Mr. Tsvangarai talks to reporter Peter Clottey about his suspension and the ensuing power struggle in the party from the capital, Harare. He says, “The party is intact. The party is moving forward after the just ended senatorial elections. We now have to focus, not internally, but externally, to deal with the real enemy of the people, which is the government, which is misgoverning the conditions of Zimbabwe.” Reacting to reports that he’s been suspended from party activities, he says, “Well, I can confirm that I received a letter from my vice-president purporting to suspend me. And it’s a misguided action and totally irrelevant. It won’t have any effect on my position. Mr. Sibanda knows it, but he has no jurisdiction over any elected officer, especially when he himself is an interested party. I must also further add the fact that this action unfortunately perpetuates the internal feud when we are supposed to be galvanizing people to focus on the real issues.”