Mugabe crowd stops US envoy speaking
17 January 2013, 09:11
Harare - Rowdy supporters of President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday prevented the United States ambassador to Zimbabwe from addressing citizens in the eastern city of Mutare, the US embassy said.
Bruce Wharton was set to deliver remarks in the city, about 265km east of the capital Harare, when he was blocked by supporters of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, including war veterans.
"The demonstrators prevented him from giving his remarks," said Sharon Hudson-Dean of the US embassy in Harare.
"He is very disappointed about it because he is very keen to listen to people's views, even critics of the United States policy."
Mugabe's supporters sang songs denouncing the US for imposing sanctions on the veteran leader and his associates.
Hudson-Dean said the recently appointed Wharton was on a "listening tour" in Mutare at the time.
In a tweet, the US embassy said "President Mugabe encouraged Amb @BruceWharton to travel widely and talk to #Zimbabweans. Sad that he was prevented from doing this today."