Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Zimbabwe talks resume after fight !

A policeman tries to block a supporter of President Robert Mugabe from disrupting a meeting on a new constitution in Harare, 13 July 2009
Supporters of Robert Mugabe disrupted Monday's meeting

Zimbabwe has resumed talks aimed at framing a new constitution, a day after riot police broke up the conference amid scuffles between rival delegates.

Police were deployed inside the Harare venue to ensure there was no repeat of Monday's problems.

Supporters of President Robert Mugabe had heckled a speaker on Monday, provoking fights with supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai later condemned the violence.

Mr Mugabe told a joint news conference with the prime minister that the government would "not brook any further nonsense".

"These things we'll continue to rectify and improve as we move forward," he said.

"Rome was not built in one day."

Mr Tsvangirai said the disturbances did not benefit anyone.

"Whether as a political party or as a nation, we are only hurting our efforts," he said.

On Monday Mr Mugabe's supporters disrupted the opening speech by dancing and singing revolutionary songs, prompting an angry reaction from supporters of Mr Tsvangirai - his former rival.

Water bottles were thrown, delegates scuffled with each other and riot police were brought in to clear the venue.

Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party wants the new constitution to be based on a draft drawn up last year, but critics say it gives the president too much power.




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