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Zimbabwe accuses US envoy of trying to demonize country

ZIMBABWE: The U.S. ambassador is trying to "demonize" Zimbabwe, a state-owned newspaper charged Wednesday, a day after the envoy and other diplomats were detained for an hour at a police roadblock.

U.S. Ambassador James McGee and other diplomats had been investigating allegations of state-sponsored political violence. The Herald, a government mouthpiece, accused McGee of breaching protocol by leading a fact-finding mission outside Harare.

U.S. Embassy officials, though, said the Foreign Ministry had been informed, as required. McGee "has been on a spirited campaign to demonize the government ahead of the presidential election runoff," the Herald said.

The government has denied reports from opposition officials and human rights groups of government-orchestrated violence meant to undermine support for the opposition before a runoff. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims he won the presidential race outright.

But official results released weeks after the poll showed he did not win enough votes to avoid a second round against longtime President Robert Mugabe. No date for a runoff has been set.

Harare, Wednesday, AP

 

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