David Ford said: “I am very pleased that the Belfast Branch of the Movement for Democratic Change came to Stormont today to talk to us. Their spirit and vision they display is an inspiration to us all.
“At the meeting today, MDC Representatives outlined in detail the horrific violence and intimidation that opposition supporters face. Zimbabwe needs a change in leadership because Mugabe is pushing the country over the precipice.
“We had a very useful meeting this morning. We shared experiences and I am very pleased about the link that we have forged with the MDC.
“I am looking forward to the elections in Zimbabwe on 27 June and am confident that Morgan Tsvangirai will become President and will transform the society there.”
Chair of the local branch of the MDC Tsungai Masoka said: “I want to thank the Alliance Party for inviting the MDC Belfast Branch to Stormont today. It was very significant for the MDC Belfast Members to share with the Alliance Party the atrocities that are being inflicted on the people of Zimbabwe by Mugabe for voting for MDC on 29 March election.
“We are very saddened by the events at home where Mugabe has declared war on his own people. We hear people are being killed; tortured and displaced not only in rural areas but also in urban areas and their supposed crime is that they voted for MDC. The regime is desperate to win the rerun on 27 June by any means, and foreign diplomats from UK, USA and others have been targeted and harassed for helping the victims of torture.
“Mugabe has stopped the non-governmental organisations from distributing food aid to starving people because he wants to use food as a political weapon to force people to vote for him. We are appealing to the whole international community to stop Mugabe from this madness and put pressure on him to respect the will of the Zimbabwean people.”