Mugabe opponent faces arrest for 'treason'

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The Independent Online

Morgan Tsvangirai, defiant in the face of threats that he is to be arrested on treason charges, accused President Robert Mugabe yesterday of being "Africa's Milosevic".

Morgan Tsvangirai, defiant in the face of threats that he is to be arrested on treason charges, accused President Robert Mugabe yesterday of being "Africa's Milosevic".

Speaking in Johannesburg, South Africa, from which he pledged to return "in the next couple of days" despite high-level threats that he will be arrested, Mr Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said: "We must stop Africa's Milosevic. The mood in Zimbabwe is uncompromising. A similar situation [to Yugoslavia] cannot be avoided."

Mr Tsvangirai, whose year-old party won nearly half the constituencies in June's general election, warned last weekend, that if President Mugabe did not go voluntarily "we will remove him with violence". This prompted senior ministers and police to state that the MDC leader would be arrested for treason upon his return from a foreign business trip.

The opposition leader returned to Africa from Belgium earlier this week and has apparently been biding his time in South Africa. But he pledged yesterday to return to Zimbabwe "in the next couple of days".

Since the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) narrowly won the June elections, supporters and MPs from the MDC have faced numerous threats.

Two MPs' homes have been raided for "arms of war" and a military grenade exploded at the MDC's Harare office last month. A few days later, all the party's files were seized in a police raid.

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