Mr. Speaker, Canada endorses the statement made last week by 40 eminent African leaders that the Zimbabwe election should be free and fair.
Canada condemns the repeated detention by two key opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, and the recent arrest of Tendai Biti. Opposition should be permitted to campaign freely without fear and prosecution.
We are also very concerned that the government of Zimbabwe continues to harass and effectively shut down independent organizations. In such an environment it is impossible for a free, fair and democratic election to take place.
We support greater UN involvement in Zimbabwe, including an envoy and UN Security Council consideration of the situation. Last week, the Government of Canada called on the Zimbabwean ambassador to deliver these strong messages and to express our deep concerns with the recent conduct of the Zimbabwean government.