Zimbabwe opposition leader called to court to face treason charges

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The Independent Online

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was today summoned to appear in court to face treason charges in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate President Robert Mugabe.

He had been charged with what he has described as trumped up charges, and released before this month's Presidential election.

Citing the "high level of politically motivated" violence in the vote that re–elected Mugabe, the Commonwealth yesterday suspended Zimbabwe from the organisation's meetings for one year.

Mr Tsvangirai welcomed the decision as a strong message to Mugabe that he has isolated himself on the international stage.

The opposition and the country's largest unions called a strike in response to the violence surrounding the election – the most contentious in the country's history.

Police manned roadblocks on the main highways into Zimbabwe's cities Wednesday after declaring the strike illegal under sweeping new security laws passed ahead of the elections.

Though many government offices remained open, several factories in western Harare shut their gates after not enough workers showed up to run their machines, executives said.

Understaffed shops also kept their shutters closed, but security guards let in small groups of customers.

In Harare, commuter traffic was lighter than usual and activity in its normally bustling townships was down.