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June 30, 2008

Morgan Tsvangirai – Zimbabwe`s Opposition Leader Seeks Protection

The currents of change have been stopped on Zimbabwe. The opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is seeking shelter from the government that he beat in an election but was denied the office of president because he did not have a clear majority. The 84 year old Mugabe will stay in power and as long as Tsvangirai is in Zimbabwe, he is in danger. No matter what the police or Mugabe say.

Tsvangirai, opposition leader has fled to the Dutch Embassy in Zimbabwe. Police raided his party’s headquarters and apparently arrested 60 people. Tsvangirai made his way to the Dutch embassy after he announced that he was withdrawing from the presidential run off election. Rob Dekker, the Foreign Minister of the Dutch embassy said that Tsvangirai asked if he could take refuge at the embassy because he feared for his safety. Political asylum has not been requested yet but that request may be on the horizon.

Mugabe’s spoke people say that Friday’s run off election will be carried out as planned. Tsvangirai’s name will reportedly still be on the ballot even though he has withdrawn himself from the contest. This seems like a play by Mugabe to make it seem like a fair election is taking place and that he is the winner. However, it is common knowledge that Tsvangirai won the March 29th election. He just did not get a clear majority. Now that Tsvangirai has dropped out of the election, why would people vote for Tsvangirai now?

Now that Mugabe is going to retain power Tsvangirai will need to get out of the country. Even though the police ahs come out and said that they are not looking for Tsvangirai and that there is not interest in him, it seems quite obvious that that is not true. Tsvangirai’s was allegedly the target of a state sponsored assassination plot. He took his chances by returning to Zimbabwe to campaign but now that he is out of the race he should try to get out of Zimbabwe. The top deputy of Tsvangirai’s opposition party is facing treason changes which could lead to the death penalty.

The police commission says that neither Tsvangirai or anyone else from his party have come to report any threats to the police. Of course Tsvangirai has had three attempts made on his life and was brutally assaulted by police at a prayer rally. Tsvangirai’s application for a passport was denied on the basis that he lacked proper police clearance.

The UN Security Council is being urged by Western powers around the world to condemn the violence and demand that the Mugabe regime faces a real, fair presidential election. The U.S., France and Britain have already condemned the acts. China and South Africa, Zimbabwe’s biggest trade partners are also expected to condemn the way that the election has been carried out.

As far as the people they have been arrested and detained from the opposition’s headquarter, the police say that they are holding 39 people who have been sent to “rehabilitation centers”.

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