New Zimbabwe (London)

21 June 2007

Zimbabwe: Muzorewa Plots Political Comeback

ZIMBABWE's retired United Methodist Church bishop Abel Muzorewa is contemplating a political comeback ahead of the 2008 presidential, parliamentary and municipal polls, claiming people want him to be the country's head of state.

In a statement Thursday, Muzorewa said many people, both white and black were asking him to come and "lead the country."

Muzorewa, 82, said: "People are coming to my house in small and large groups and as individuals. Some stop me in the streets. Both black and white people are saying to me, 'come back and lead the country, we are now burning bricks with straw!'

"When they describe in detail their suffering you can see that indeed they are bleeding, economically and socially. It is painful to listen to them talk."

The retired bishop would not say whether he would run in the next elections.

He said Zanu PF and the opposition MDC -- the only participants in ongoing talks brokered by President Thabo Mbeki -- should be guided by the national interest and not self-interest.

He added: "I am also appealing to all people of all denominations who believe in God and the power of prayer to pray for the fruitful and successful outcome of the talks and the salvation of Zimbabwe, economically, socially and politically."

Muzorewa was prime minister of the short-lived coalition government in what was called Zimbabwe Rhodesia, holding office for only a few months in 1979.

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