PM and UN chief demand end to Zimbabwe abuse

Gordon Brown and Ban Ki-moon have issued a joint statement condemning the abuse of democracy in Zimbabwe.

Speaking from Downing Street ahead of the country’s presidential runoff, the prime minister and United Nations secretary general demanded a free vote take place on June 27th.

Robert Mugabe has been accused of using state resources to intimidate the electorate ahead of the crucial poll.

According to the Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader Morgan Tsvangirai is bidding to end 28 years of Mugabe rule, a campaign of violence and oppression has been launched against the opposition since March’s politically inconclusive first vote.

Mr Brown and Mr Ban are also calling on restrictions on humanitarian assistance in the former British colony to be lifted immediately.

A No 10 spokesperson said the two leaders’ talks saw world fuel and food prices at the top of the agenda.

“The PM thanked the secretary general for the leadership he shows on the many challenges facing the international community,” a statement elaborated.

Mr Brown said the international community must “redouble its efforts” amid rising fuel prices, while the threefold increases in food costs were “severely affecting millions”.