[QODLink]
Africa
Zimbabwe blocks Tsvangirai trip
Opposition leader's passport seized as he prepares to travel to South Africa.
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2008 14:22 GMT
Tendai Biti said Tsvangirai's passport had been confiscated [AFP]

Zimbabwean authorities have confiscated the passport of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition, preventing him from travelling to South Africa for a regional summit.

Tendai Biti, the secretary general for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), headed by Tsvangirai, told Reuters news agency on Thursday that the trip had been blocked.

"We can't travel without passports. There's no point. In any case, the plane has left and Tsvangirai has already gone back. He has no patience for this," he said.

Both Tsvangirai and Biti were briefly detained at Harare International Airport on Thursday, the MDC said.

"Operatives from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) seized the MDC leadership's passports and briefly detained them, saying their names were 'on the list'. They did not reveal what so-called list was about," he said.

Tsvangirai told reporters earlier at the airport he was sure power-sharing talks with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's government would resume.

The talks are mediated by Thabo Mbeki, the South African president.

He told reporters negotiations could not be judged on a deadlock over one issue, adding that there will always be people to break that deadlock.

Asked by reporters if he was still optimistic about a deal, Tsvangirai said: "Oh, yes, of course, we got our independence after how many talks? Hundreds and tens of meetings had been held."

Talks on power-sharing began last month after Mugabe's unopposed re-election in a June vote that was condemned around the world and boycotted by Tsvangirai because of attacks on his supporters by operatives of Zanu-PF, the governing party.

But three days of meetings in Harare failed to reach an overall deal.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
join our mailing list