Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: New Zealand wants to drag Mugabe to International Criminal Court

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HARARE - New Zealand says it will step up a diplomatic campaign to drag President Mugabe to the International Criminal Court for serious human rights abuses.

Foreign affairs minister Phil Goff said New Zealand was considering investigating a case that might bring Mugabe before the International Criminal Court, while representations would also be made to the European Union and Zimbabwe's neighbours, mainly South Africa.

He did not specify the case implicating the veteran 81-year old Zimbabwe who is accused by the West of committing serious human rights violations against his political opponents.

New Zealand also said it will push to have crisis-ridden Zimbabwe expelled from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for failing to service its debt saying it will not relent on its spirited campaign "until there's change in Zimbabwe".

New Zealand has been at the forefront in criticising Mugabe's human rights abuses against his political opponents and stealing elections.

Mugabe denies charges of human rights abuses and in turn accuses the West of seeking to oust him from power for seizing land from the white commercial farmers for redistribution to landless blacks.

On the sporting scene, Goff met at the weekend the International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ihsan Mani to discuss measures that would exempt New Zealand's Black Caps from heavy penalties if they boycotted on moral grounds their tour of Zimbabwe scheduled for next month.

Mani said they would only approve a boycott if the New Zealand government adopted new legislation banning the tour.

The Black Caps are scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe on August 2 for two Tests before they are involved in a triangular one-day international series against the hosts and India.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's first Test black cricketer Henry Olonga and human rights activist Judith Todd, daughter of liberal former prime minister of Rhodesia Garfield Todd, on Saturday joined over 400 protesters in Auckland marching to stop the tour. - ZimOnline