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Riot Police Round Up Anglican Worshipers In Harare In Bishopric Battle


Police detained dozens of supporters of Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare at various churches in Harare during services on Sunday, sources said, among them Secretary General Gertrude Hambira of the General Agricultural Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe. Many of them were released within hours of being arrested.

Sources said riot police seized Anglican Church members worshiping in the Harare districts of Mufakose, Greendale, Warren Park and Mabelreign.

Hambira, alleged to have taken photos of the police operation, was detained for about six hours then released without charge, though she was instructed to report back to the Harare Central police station at a later time. Sources said about 20 other people arrested at the Mufakose church were also released Sunday evening.

Bakare is locked in a struggle for control of the local Anglican Church with Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, who has close ties with president Robert Mugabe and the ruling party. Kunonga has refused to leave office though he was sacked by the church.

Labor official Hambira told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that she was subjected to a great deal of verbal abuse by police Sunday.

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

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