Tsvangirai Barred From Mbeki Meet

Opposition leader detained in airport, passport yanked
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 8:37 AM CDT
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai responds to questions at a press conference in Dakar, July 31, 2008. Tsvangirai was detained at Harare airport and had his passport confiscated.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
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(Newser) – Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's opposition, was detained at the airport in Harare today and prevented from flying to South Africa. Authorities confiscated his passport, as well as the travel documents of fellow members of the Movement for Democratic Change, before letting him leave. Tsvangirai was to attend a meeting with South African president Thabo Mbeki in an attempt to resolve the country's political crisis.

"This is a reflection of their insincerity," said an MDC leader. "They want to talk to us yet they behave like hooligans." Tsvangirai has said that he remains committed to a power-sharing deal after last week's stalemate, despite reports that Robert Mugabe had cut a deal with a breakaway MDC leader. Tsvangirai won the first round of Zimbabwe's presidential election but dropped out of the runoff due to tremendous state violence against his supporters.