Zimbabwe blocks Tsvangirai from summit

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The Independent Online

Zimbabwean authorities confiscated opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's passport today, preventing him from leaving the country to attend a regional summit in South Africa, an MDC official said.

"We can't travel without passports. There's no point. In any case the plane has left and Tsvangirai has already gone back. He has no patience for this," Movement for Democratic Change Secretary-General Tendai Biti told Reuters.

The MDC said Tsvangirai was due to travel to South Africa to attend a summit of regional grouping SADC after power-sharing talks with President Robert Mugabe stalled this week.

Tsvangirai and Biti were briefly detained at Harare International Airport.

"Operatives from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) seized the MDC leadership's passports and briefly detained them, saying their names were 'on the list'," said the party.

"They did not reveal what so-called list was about."

Tsvangirai told reporters earlier at the airport he was sure power-sharing talks with Mugabe's government would resume.

He told reporters negotiations cannot be judged on a deadlock over one issue, adding that there will always be people to break that deadlock.

Asked by reporters if he was still optimistic on a deal, Tsvangirai said: "Oh, yes, of course, we got our independence after how many talks? Hundreds and tens of meetings had been held."

Talks on power-sharing began last month after Mugabe's unopposed re-election in a June vote that was condemned around the world and boycotted by Tsvangirai because of attacks on his supporters. But three days of meetings in Harare failed to reach an overall deal.