Zimbabwe's main opposition party says four of its activists have been
killed by supporters of President Robert Mugabe, as violence escalates
ahead of the June 27th presidential run-off election.
for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa says the bodies of the
four activists were found near Harare Thursday, two days after they
The deaths were reported a day after South
African President Thabo Mbeki met separately with President Mugabe and
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, trying to mediate the political
Two South African newspapers, "Business Day" and "The
Star," report that Mr. Mbeki asked Mr. Mugabe to cancel the run-off,
and for the two rivals to form a national unity government.
in an interview today with VOA's Studio 7 Zimbabwe, Mr. Tsvangirai
dismissed those reports, saying the South African president told him he
has no plan to end the crisis in Zimbabwe.
The MDC accuses
Mugabe supporters of waging a campaign of violence and intimidation to
increase the president's chance of victory in the run-off.
MDC says about 70 of its supporters have been killed. The president
and ruling ZANU-PF party blame the MDC for the violence.
have detained Mr. Tsvangirai at least five times this month as he tried
to campaign for the run-off. Authorities have also arrested the MDC's
number-two official, Tendai Biti.
Biti, a strong critic of the
president, appeared in a Harare courtroom Thursday as police filed
papers accusing him of treason. If convicted, he could face the death
Mr. Tsvangirai defeated Mr. Mugabe in elections March
29, but official results showed him falling short of the majority
needed to avoid a run-off.
Mr. Mugabe has strongly suggested
that a Tsvangirai victory would lead to civil war in Zimbabwe. The
84-year-old president has ruled the country since it won independence
from Britain in 1980.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.