British prime minister Gordon Brown today accused Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of running a “criminal regime” following the latest arrest of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mr Tsvangirai, who faces a run-off on against Mr Mugabe in the disputed presidential election, was yesterday detained and then released for the fifth time in a week. His deputy, Tendai Biti, has been charged with treason.
“These are the acts of an increasingly desperate and criminal regime. They are further proof, if it is needed, that Robert Mugabe is becoming more blatant in his attempts to steal the June 27 election,” Mr Brown said in a statement.
Brown also condemned the recent decision to suspend all aid agency food programmes in Zimbabwe and called for an acceleration in the deployment of international election monitors.
“The international community will stand by the people of Zimbabwe in this difficult time,” he said.
“I say to those who are orchestrating the violence: the world is watching. You will be held accountable. Democracy will ultimately prevail.”