Chinamasa blasts UN torture expert

Chinamasa, a senior member of Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, said he took the last-minute decision to cancel Nowak’s visit and that Nowak’s insistence on pressing ahead with the trip was creating "a very bad spirit" between Harare and the UN.

"At the last minute, I conveyed through the ministry of foreign affairs that we were not able to host him at this stage because I have a SADC troika team in the country and I was going to be busy since I am negotiator," Chinamasa told the German Press Agency dpa.

Chinamasa was referring to the three foreign ministers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that are in the country to try to reconcile Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the two partners in the government.

Nowak flew into Harare anyway Wednesday evening on an invitation from Tsvangirai, but was refused entry at the airport and put on a plane back to Johannesburg.

"He (Nowak) should not have come," Chinamasa said.

"He wants to come on the invitation of the prime minister who has announced a partial pull-out from the government," Chinamasa stated. "What is he trying to achieve? Cause divisions?"

Nowak’s insistence on coming at Tsvangirai’s invitation, when "I am the minister responsible for human rights in this country, was "introducing a very bad spirit into our relationship (Zimbabwe government and the UN).

At the same time, he hoped Nowak, who has declared the mission to have failed and said he will not return under any circumstance, would "come in the near future."