Mugabe attacks opposition and UK

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has denounced the opposition and former colonial power Britain in his first speech since the disputed elections.

“Down with the British. Down with thieves who want to steal our country,” he told 15,000 people at celebrations marking 28 years of independence. He has made few public comments since the presidential poll on 29 March.

Meanwhile, South African dock workers are refusing to unload a shipment of arms from China destined for Zimbabwe. The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said it did “not agree with the position of the government not to intervene with this shipment”. “Our members employed at Durban container terminal will not unload this cargo, neither will any of our members in the truck-driving sector move this cargo by road,” Satawu’s general secretary, Randall Howard, told local media.

Reports say the Chinese cargo ship An Yue Jiang, anchored off Durban, is carrying 3.5m rounds of ammunition, 1,500 40mm rockets, 2,500 mortar shells and 93 cases of mortar tubes. On Thursday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said South African President Thabo Mbeki needed to be “relieved of his duties” as a mediator in the crisis caused by the presidential poll, for which results have not yet been released.

Mr Tsvangirai is adamant he won the presidential election outright. But the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says it cannot release the results until it investigates anomalies – a partial recount takes place this weekend. Government ministers suggest that a run-off may be needed, and the MDC says its activists in rural areas are being attacked ahead of that possible poll. The independent Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has said at least 200 people have been treated for severe injuries since last month’s election.

I said it often he’s not going to leave so easily.

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