- Title: ZIMBABWE: MDC asks for International help as Tsvangirai prepares to leave refuge
- Date: 24th June 2008
- Summary: (W3) HARARE, ZIMBABWE (JUNE 24, 2008) (REUTERS) (VOICEOVER AGAINST STILL PICTURE) (SOUNDBITE) (English) MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) SPOKESMAN, NELSON CHAMISA SAYING: (QUESTION: WHAT ACTION DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT THE WORLD TO TAKE NOW?) "Well, three things, the first one is to just make sure there is peace there and the rule of law in the country, and to make sure that there is stability. The second one is to ensure that there is security for individuals, especially those who belong to the opposition because there is need for that kind of provision. There is absolutely no protection from the institutions in the country, and the third one is to do with the holding of a free and fair election, to allow Zimbabweans to choose a leader of their choice, that has not happened. We believe that Mr. Mugabe with his men is arrogantly proceeding to have an election on the 27th of June is not a reflection of the will of the people, and indeed is not a matter that would conclude the election question, so for that reason we would want the international community to help us in terms of coming up with some kind of transitional mechanism to stop the attacks in the country."
- Embargoed: 9th July 2008 13:00
- Location: Zimbabwe
- Country: Zimbabwe
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAC9578H6XRTBOD28X893Y3HDWO
- Story Text: Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Tuesday (June 24) he could be ready to leave the Dutch embassy in the coming days after receiving assurances for his safety.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader took refuge in the Harare embassy on Sunday (June 22) night, after pulling out of the June 27 election run-off against President Robert Mugabe, saying violence meant it could not be fair.
The MDC said police on Sunday raided its Harare headquarters and took away more than 60 victims of the violence sheltering there, including women and children. The MDC says nearly 90 of its supporters have been killed by militias backing Mugabe.
Speaking in a telephone call to Reuters on Tuesday, MDC Spokesman Nelson Chamisa said that Zimbabwe needed three things from the International Community, to restore peace to the country, provide security for Zimbabwe's citizens particularly those that support the opposition party, and also to help hold free and fair elections.
"The first one is to just make sure there is peace there and the rule of law in the country, and to make sure that there is stability."
said Chamisa, "The second one is to ensure that there is security for individuals, especially those who belong to the opposition because there is need for that kind of provision. There is absolutely no protection from the institutions in the country, and the third one is to do with the holding of a free and fair election, to allow Zimbabweans to choose a leader of their choice, that has not happened."
Chamisa went on to say that international condemnation of Mugabe's regime has helped to calm the situation in Zimbabwe particularly after Tsvangirai received assurance of his safety and the fact that Mugabe has not ruled out negotiations with the MDC.
"In terms of making sure that there is some movement to quell the situation, to quell the disorder in the country, and the anarchy, we are beginning to witness," Chamisa said.
International pressure began to mount on Tuesday for President Robert Mugabe to call off a June 27 election, with the U.N. Security Council issuing an unprecedented condemnation of violence against opposition supporters and African leaders calling for the election run-off to be postponed.
In neighbouring countries, ordinary citizens were critical of Mugabe.
"His wish is just to shed blood so please, something must done about that Mugabe guy. We are not happy," said Reason Sibanda a Zimbabwean now living in Cape Town.
Other Cape Town residents supported Sibanda's condemnation.
The 15-member Security Council echoed mounting international concern over Zimbabwe's political turmoil and economic meltdown, blamed by the West and the opposition on Mugabe, 84, who has held uninterrupted power for 28 years.
South Africa, China and Russia, who have previously blocked discussion of Zimbabwe in the Security Council, joined in a unanimous condemnation of the bloodshed. Tsvangirai has not requested asylum but spent a second night in the Dutch embassy on Monday.
Mugabe's government remained defiant and said the election would go ahead on Friday. The veteran leader accused former colonial power Britain and other Western countries of lying about the violence because they wanted to interfere.
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