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THE WORLD

Mugabe Warns on Civil Unrest

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe, declared the winner in disputed voting last month, vowed to crush any civil uprising against his rule and dismissed calls for a rerun of the election, state radio reported Monday.

The government will not tolerate attempts to make Zimbabwe ungovernable "by those bent on causing chaos, especially those who did not agree" with his election victory, Mugabe said.

"Those who want to rebel and become lawless, we will deal with them firmly," he said. "They think we will continue to be soft. That's gone. It's finished. We are in a new phase, and there will be a firm government."

The radio said Mugabe was addressing a victory party Sunday in his home district of Zvimba, about 60 miles northwest of Harare, the capital.

The National Constitutional Assembly, a reform alliance that includes the main opposition and human rights, labor and church organizations, has called for street protests Saturday.

In weekend advertisements in independent newspapers, organizers said the protests and a campaign of civil disobedience will go ahead in defiance of new security laws banning political demonstrations.

The advertisements urged Zimbabweans to turn out in large numbers in the capital and regional centers to protest elections the organizers said were rigged during voting and marred by political violence and intimidation against Mugabe opponents.

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