Zimbabwean opposition leader Arthur Mutambara on Tuesday dismissed speculation that the broadside against the West he launched in a Heroes Day statement early this week signaled he was moving closer to President Robert Mugabe amid power-sharing negotiations.

Mutambara and other officials of his branch of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change attended Heroes Day memorial services on Monday at the Heroes Acre burial ground outside Harare, while MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai declined to attend the gathering.

In his statement, which also praised liberation guerrilla leaders, Mutambara took exception to what he described as the "irritating ignorance, political insensitivity, double standards, and patronizing arrogance that characterize Western diplomacy" toward Zimbabwe.

Mutambara said in an interview with reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he made no apologies for the statement issued Sunday on the eve of Heroes Day.

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