Zimbabwe Halts Aid Groups, Detains Tsvangirai Again

Mugabe accuses charities of supporting the opposition
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2008 6:54 AM CDT
Zimbabwe Halts Aid Groups, Detains Tsvangirai Again
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change leader and presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai addresses a crowd of displaced Zimbabweans in South Africa, May 22, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Zimbabwe today ordered all charities operating in the country to quit their work, saying they would not be allowed to resume until they had promised not to interfere in the upcoming election, the Guardian reports. The government also detained opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for the second time this week, Reuters notes. Police picked him up at a roadblock today and released him a few hours later, preventing him from attending a campaign rally.

Robert Mugabe's government accused the charities of openly supporting the opposition  in the June 27 runoff election. “This is a sign of desperation," said a spokesman for Tsvangirai's party. "It's condescending to think that the people of Zimbabwe vote on the basis of influence by NGOs." (Read more Zimbabwe stories.)

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