Mugabe threatens to expel US envoy

May 26th, 2008 - 1:16 am ICT by admin  

Harare, May 25 (DPA) Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe Sunday urged his supporters to be prepared to “fight or even die” to uphold the country’s sovereignty and threatened to expel the US ambassador for supporting opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe, 84, was speaking in Harare at the launch of his campaign to extend his 28-year rule in a presidential election run-off against Tsvangirai next month.

Mugabe said he would not hesitate to expel US ambassador James McGee if he continued to support Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

McGee, an outspoken critic of Mugabe’s government, recently called on Tsvangirai to return to Zimbabwe to lead his party into the run-off.

Tsvangirai, 56, took more votes than Mugabe in the first round of voting March 29, but not enough, according to the official tally, for an outright victory. A run-off has been set for June 27.

On Saturday, Tsvangirai returned to Zimbabwe after a six-week absence to kickstart his campaign.

“This is Zimbabwe, not an extension of America,” Mugabe told McGee.

While he wanted the run-off to be as peaceful as the March election his supporters must “when attacked” defend themselves, given what he called the MDC’s “tradition of violence”.

Calling the run-off “a war to defend our sovereignty”, Mugabe said: “We have to fight or even die for it.”

Tsvangirai Sunday attended the funeral of slain MDC party activist, Tonderai Ndira, one of the 40-plus victims of a campaign of brutality by pro-Mugabe youth militia against MDC supporters since the March elections.

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