Mugabe loyalists break up meeting

Scuffles break out between rival political supporters at constitutional conference.

    Mugabe had been scheduled to open the constitutional conference, but failed to show up [EPA]

    Scuffles broke out on the floor of the meeting as the protesters were challenged by angry members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister in the power-sharing government.

    Head injuries

    The MDC later said that one of its councillors had been badly hurt in the clashes.

    "Gilson Chitakunye, today sustained serious head injuries after he was brutally assaulted by Zanu-PF thugs who violently disrupted the All Stakeholders Constitutional Conference in Harare," a statement said.

    Tensions were high even before the opening of the meeting, with supporters of Zimbabwe's two political rivals sang songs denigrating each other.

    Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February in a bid to end deadly political violence that erupted after last year's disputed presidential elections.

    Under the power-sharing deal, Zimbabwe is to draft a new constitution that is to be brought to voters for approval in a referendum next year, paving the way for fresh elections.

    Both Mugabe, who had been scheduled to open the conference, and Tsvangirai had failed to show up for Monday's meeting before it descended into chaos.

    Nelson Chamisa, an MDC spokesman, said that Tsvangirai was meeting with Mugabe to discuss the disruption of the meeting by "well co-ordinated Zanu-PF cadres".

    But late in the evening there was no sign of proceedings resuming and most of the delegates had left the venue.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.