Washington, D.C., June 20, 2008 - Representative Donald
Payne, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Africa Subcommittee, in an
exclusive interview with the Voice of America (VOA), called for continued
international pressure on Zimbabwe to control political violence and
intimidation before the June 27 presidential election.
"I think that it certainly is important that the free
world expresses its concern about the situation in Zimbabwe. I think that even
though Mr. Mugabe has tended not to listen, I do believe that it is useful for
our voices to be heard," said Congressman Payne. "And at the end of
the day, perhaps he may listen to some of the pleas for a fair and free
He also hoped that other African leaders, in particular,
would speak out, noting the remarks made this week by Kenya's new prime
minister, Raila Odinga, who called for an international peacekeeping force.
"Perhaps other African leaders might speak out as the
election comes to the date. And that may have influence on the behavior of the
security forces and the government of Zimbabwe," the congressman told VOA.
Earlier this week Congressman Payne sponsored a resolution
in the U.S. House of Representatives condemning Zimbabwe's election-related
violence and calling for a fair and peaceful resolution to the political
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languages via radio, television and new media including 19 hours each week to
Zimbabwe in English, Shona and Ndebele. Further coverage of events in Africa
can be found online at www.voaafrica.com.
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