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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe PM calls for end of unity government after Minister's arrest

Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called Thursday for an end to the country’s unity government. Speaking at a news conference after the arrest of the Minister for Energy and Power Development, he called for a political “divorce” from President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai condemned the arrest of Minister Elton Mangoma.

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Tsvangirai said the unity government “is not working” and called for a separation.

“There is obviously a breakdown in the relationship between the parties," he said. "If people find that a marriage has reached irreconcilable differences, then they agree to a divorce."

He called for an election, overseen by Sadc, the Southern African Development Community.

Eariler, Tsvangirai called Mangoma’s arrest a “calculated assault on the people of Zimbabwe”.

Mangoma, a member of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, was arrested for allegedly bypassing tender procedures when buying fuel in January from a little-known South African company, reports state radio.

Five million litres of diesoline were paid for at a time of national shortages, but it appears it may not all have been delivered. Mangoma has been criticized for using a fund that Mugabe had the authority to use.

He was picked up by three plain clothes police officers at his government offices Thursday morning. Police are not yet saying he faces criminal charges.

This was the second arrest of a high-profile MDC official in less than a month. MP Douglas Mwonzora, co-chair of a constitutional committee, is still in detention after he was arrested three weeks ago on violence charges.

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