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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Calls for End to Political Violence


Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has called for an end to political violence and said the new unity government should bring peace and stability to the troubled nation.

President Mugabe made the comments Saturday as he spoke at a funeral for a former commander of Zimbabwe's military forces. Prime Minister - and former opposition leader - Morgan Tsvangirai was also in attendance at the funeral.

Mr. Mugabe thanked Mr. Tsvangirai and other former opposition members for attending the funeral. He called for an end to violence between his ruling ZANU-PF party and the long-time opposition Movement for Democratic Change party - which is now part of the unity government, formed last month.

He said they are of different political parties but they must not fight.

Mr. Mugabe said those who believe they must keep fighting are enemies of Zimbabwe.

The comments came hours after police arrested an MDC official and deputy mayor of the city of Mutare. An MDC spokesman says Admire Mukorera was detained by police who say his vehicle was used in political violence earlier in the week.

President Mugabe began expressing conciliatory sentiments towards his longtime political foe Wednesday at the funeral for Mr. Tsvangirai's wife. The president said he hoped Mr. Tsvangirai remains strong and urged all Zimbabweans to support the prime minister in the new power-sharing government.

Susan Tsvangirai was killed in a traffic accident one week ago.

As Zimbabwe's longtime opposition leader, Mr. Tsvangirai experienced government intimidation and violence at the hands of the ruling party.

The unity government was formed after pressure from regional leaders for Zimbabwe to end its political crisis.

Zimbabwe's economy is in ruins following years of declining farm output and soaring inflation. Inflation, last measured at 231 million percent, has made the country's currency virtually worthless

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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