Zim minister 'astonished' by poaching claims

2012-01-12 17:10

Special Report

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Zimbabwean state media says Chinese President Xi Jinping deserves a "hero’s welcome" when he jets into the country on a state visit, but the main opposition dismisses the visit as a mere public relations exercise.

Harare - A minister in Zimbabwe's shaky coalition government says he is "astonished" by police claims that his vehicle was used by rhino poachers who are also accused of killing a wildlife ranger.

Sessel Zvidzai, deputy local government minister in the former opposition party, said on Thursday that he sold the truck two years ago. He expressed surprise over headlines in state media controlled by President Robert Mugabe's party implicating him in poaching.

Three suspects appeared in court in Harare on Wednesday accused of murder and of possessing rhino horn worth $120 000 found in a vehicle still registered in the minister's name.

The former opposition has repeatedly accused Mugabe's media of hate speech and propaganda to smear the party.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  poaching  |  southern africa

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