Is Gaddafi hiding in Zimbabwe?

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 10:09

Zeenews Bureau

Zimbabwe: Libya’s strongman Muammar Gaddafi is still untraceable but a British media report has claimed that the Libyan leader might be hiding in Zimbabwe.

The Daily Mail, a United Kingdom newspaper, yesterday claimed that Gaddafi arrived in Zimbabwe last week aboard Mugabe’s private jet.

But President Robert Muga-be’s spokesman George Charamba has dismissed reports that Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi could be in Zimbabwe, implying that the brother leader may not be welcome.

“If you see him, greet him for me,” quipped Charamba, implying that Gaddafi might not be heading to Zimbabwe after all.

Charamba declined to answer subsequent questions on what Zimbabwe’s response would be in case Gaddafi asked for asylum.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba said his party could not be drawn into commenting on speculation but rather they would be guided by a decision of the African Union and Sadc.

Speculation has been mounting in recent days that Zimbabwe could provide a safe haven for the ousted leader, with others already claiming that he could have arrived in Harare last Wednesday.

Others claimed that the power cut that hit Harare on Wednesday was meant to ease Gaddafi’s arrival so that he would not be seen.

Gaddafi reportedly owns Rainfield Farm, 20km from Chinhoyi and 50km outside Lion’s Den.

According to the Daily Mail, Mugabe’s political opponents spotted Gaddafi arriving in the country, while some tried to give chase to the motorcade taking the embattled Libyan leader to Gunhill suburb.

Zimbabwe was seen as a destination of choice as it is already home to Mengistu Haile Mariam, the former Ethiopian strongman, wanted for prosecution in his home country.

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had, in March, intimated that Gaddafi could be coming to Zimbabwe, although the idea of Mugabe and the Libyan leader together rendered her “speechless”.

Meanwhile, Italian news agency has claimed that Muammar Gaddafi and his sons Saadi and
Seif al-Islam are in the town of Bani Walid south of Tripoli, citing "authoritative
Libyan diplomatic sources".
ANSA cited the same sources in Rome saying that Gaddafi`s wife Safiya and three of his other children, Aisha, Hannibal and Mohammed were in Algeria.

The Algerian foreign ministry later confirmed the four crossed into Algeria earlier today.

ANSA said another Gaddafi son, Khamis, had "almost certainly" been killed on the way from Tripoli to Bani Walid.

Libya`s rebel leadership on Sunday said that Khamis, whose death has been announced several times since the conflict erupted, may have been killed in a clash with rebel fighters
in the city of Tarhuna southeast of Tripoli.

Bani Walid is about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Libyan capital.
Libya`s defected former prime minister Abessalam Jalloud, who has fled to Rome, last week said Gaddafi could be hiding south of Tripoli.

"There are two possibilities: either he is hiding south of Tripoli or he left some time ago," Jalloud told reporters. The leader of the rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, today cautioned against a let-up in international action against Gaddafi saying he "still poses a danger, not only for Libya but for the world."

"That is why we are calling for the coalition to continue its support," Abdel Jalil said at a meeting of chiefs of staff in Doha of countries militarily involved in Libya.

Italy is Libya`s former colonial ruler and enjoyed close diplomatic and economies ties with Gaddafi`s regime before the start of a popular uprising this year. It has since joined the
international coalition against Gaddafi.



First Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - 09:50

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