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ICG dismisses Shamuyarira claims

THE International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based organisation run by retired statesmen, yesterday dismissed as unfounded claims by Zanu PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira that their report on Zimbabwe had urged opposition forces to stage a coup against the government.

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CG president Gareth Evans said Shamuyarira’s remarks showed that he had “lost the plot”. He said his group’s report never called for a coup and urged Shamuyarira to read it first before making claims about its content.

“My old foreign ministerial colleague Nathan Shamuyarira seems to have lost the plot,” Evans said.

“As bad as this government is, we have never called for its violent overthrow, and our reports and briefings on Zimbabwe make that perfectly clear.”

ICG said it firmly rejected Shamuyarira’s statements as “reckless” and “baseless”.

“The International Crisis Group firmly rejects and condemns comments by a spokesman for Zimbabwe’s ruling party, reported today.

“An article in the government-owned Herald newspaper in Harare quoted Shamuyarira accusing the group of supporting a military coup in Zimbabwe and of having “sponsored violence” in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. These allegations are unfounded.”

Shamuyarira said the ICG urged opposition parties in Zimbabwe to form a united front “to organise a coup” although no such words were used in the report.

“Zimbabwe continues to fracture on many fronts; the divisions within the MDC and Zanu PF have become almost as profound as the differences between them,” the report said.

“Opposition forces would do well to put their disputes behind them and present a unified front to take on a government that is increasingly desperate and dangerous.”

However, Shamuyarira, a minister for 19 years, insisted the report called for a coup against Mugabe’s regime. The ICG said Shamuyarira’s deliberate distortions were baseless and unwarranted.

Since last week the government-controlled media has shown discomfort with the ICG report which warned Zimbabwe was increasingly becoming a failed state that could be plagued by political instability and violence. — Staff Writer.

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