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‘Zimbabweans safe in Egypt’

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Zimbabwe’s Acting Ambassador to Egypt, Margret Muskwe, on Tuesday said the country’s senior national women’s football team, which is doing duty in the volatile North African country is safe.

Egypt has been rocked by protests against the military rulers in the past few days but Muskwe said the Mighty Warriors were “100% safe”.

The clashes between protestors and security forces have left 35 people dead in three days.

“In terms of their safety, yes, the team is 100% safe. There is nothing to worry about,” Muskwe said.

“Usually these clashes don’t cover the whole of Cairo, but Tahrir Square and the immediate surrounding areas.

“The team is staying far away from the square, some 30 to 40km, so I don’t think they will get affected.”

She said Zimbabwe’s embassy was near Tahir Square, but staff felt safe because the protestors “don’t go about beating every person they see on the streets”.

“Unless if you go into the thick of things and you want to get involved,” Muskwe said.

“Anyway the violence had actually gone down as of last night (Monday) so we are not worried that much.”
She also assured that Zimbabwean citizens in Egypt — mainly students — were safe.

The clashes have been centred around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the venue of the mass protests that toppled Egypt’s strongman Hosni Mubarak in February.

The Zimbabwean team is staying at the Egypt Football Association’s complex, a stone’s throw away from the Confederations of African Football headquarters.

Meanwhile, trading was halted on the Egyptian stock exchange after its broader index plunged over 5% on Tuesday on the back of escalating protests and deadly violence in the capital thrust the nation into its worst political crisis Mubarak’s ouster.

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