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Zimbabwe Opposition Leaders Honor Slain Activist Gift Tandare


Some 3,000 Zimbabwean opposition members including leaders of both factions of the Movement for Democratic Change attended a memorial service in Harare Tuesday for slain activist Gift Tandare, who was shot dead by police on March 11.

Tandare, 31, was an MDC activist from the party's inception in 1999 and a member of the National Constitutional Assembly, a leading civil society organization. He was shot by police during protests after authorities blocked a prayer meeting in Harare.

Authorities seized Tandare's body from a Harare funeral home and secretly buried him at his rural community of origin to prevent the MDC from giving him a hero's burial.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

The occasion was marred by the news that a member of the national executive of the Tsvangirai faction of the MDC was abducted at gunpoint following the ceremony by suspected agents of the feared Central Intelligence Organization.

Witnesses said Last Maengahama and others who attended the memorial stopped for food in the Harare suburb of Borrowdale. Robert Manyegavana, youth secretary for Harare province for the Tsvangirai faction, who was in the car with Maengahama, said five men in two pickup trucks accosted them, produced a handgun, and dragged Maengahama out of their car and into one of the trucks, then drove away.

Sources said Maengahama, a councilor for the Harare's Glenview district, was a close friend of Tandare and led the opening song at Tuesday's ceremony.

Witness Manyengavana described the abduction to reporter Patience Rusere.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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