MDC general secretary tells women: Don't give sex to your husbands until they register to vote.

A senior opposition politician in Zimbabwe is urging women to use sex as a weapon in the fight against dictator Robert Mugabe - by denying their husbands conjugal rights unless they register to vote and cast their ballot against him in the next election.

Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the general secretary of the anti-Morgan Tsvangarai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), told a rally in Cross Dete: "Our husbands have failed to play their role. Now it is up to us women to take it upon ourselves to change the political status quo in the country.

"If your husband has not yet gone to register to vote then you must deny him his conjugal rights. If he does not have a registration slip to show that he has registered then do not give in."

Encouraged by strong applause from the crowd, she went on to claim that women were the hardest hit by the country's financial turmoil.

"Women are forced to buy secondhand undergarments because of the financial meltdown in the country caused by [ruling party] Zanu PF. What kind of a country is that?" she asked.

President Mugabe, who is in Singapore for a medical check-up, is due to go head-to-head with his main political rival, prime minister Tsvangirai, on 31 July for control of the country.

The 89-year-old dictator has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980. He has long been accused of wrecking one of Africa's most promising economies with his controversial policies.

At the same rally, faction leader Prof Welshman Ncube said Mugabe had overstayed his welcome.

"Mugabe has been in power for too long and this is our opportunity to vote him out. It is time we gave him his retirement package and he goes to take a well-deserved rest," Ncube said.