Zim exiles boo Tsvangirai

2009-06-20 21:04

London - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was booed and shouted down by Zimbabwean exiles during a speech in London on Saturday when he called for them to return home to help rebuild the shattered country.

Tsvangirai told an estimated crowd of 1 000 people in Southwark Cathedral that he had one message, that "Zimbabweans must come home".

His appeal was greeted by boos and chants of "Mugabe must go", referring to 85-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

When Tsvangirai could not make himself heard above the crowd, he left the pulpit for two minutes before returning to face questions.

He added: "I did not say 'pack your bags tomorrow', I said 'you should now start thinking about coming home'."

Helping ‘traumatised’ Zimbabweans

Some exiles asked Tsvangirai what the four-month-old power-sharing government of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and Mugabe's Zanu-PF was doing to help Zimbabweans who had been "traumatised" by violence.

He said: "If there is anyone who has been traumatised, it is me."

After answering several more questions briefly, he was ushered away by security guards amid a hail of fresh boos.

London is the latest stop on a tour which has taken him to Washington, Berlin, Stockholm and Brussels as he drums up support for the 'new' Zimbabwe - albeit one that still has Mugabe as president.