Police call in Zimbabwe opposition leader over 'plot'

 

Zimbabwe's opposition leader has been ordered to report to police for questioning on allegations he plotted to assassinate President Mr Robert Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai
Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) President Morgan Tsvangirai speaking at an election rally in the town of Chinoyi, 120 kilometers north west of Harare.

Mr Tsvangirai told reporters: "Of course this is intended to divert people . . . there is no case to answer. It is a conspiracy. My campaign will go on".

The government claims Mr Tsvangirai met members of a Canada-based political consulting firm last year to arrange for the "elimination" of Mr Mugabe.

Ten days ago, the firm released a secretly recorded video tape of a December 4th meeting in Montreal they said incriminated Mr Tsvangirai. The state media has given wide coverage to the allegations by Mr Ari Ben-Menashe, who heads the Canadian consulting firm Dickens and Madson.

Mr Tsvangirai said he met four times with the Canadian consulting firm about possible publicity it could offer his party abroad. He said his recorded remarks were taken out of context. "If a crime was committed in December, why wait until three weeks before the election?" he said.

Mr Mugabe has told supporters at campaign rallies he knew of the alleged plot last year but did nothing to have Mr Tsvangirai arrested "for fear of plunging the country into chaos" ahead of the presidential vote.

PA