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Zimbabwean Opposition Politician Kills Wife - 2002-07-20

A prominent member of Zimbabwe's parliament is expected to confess to the fatal stabbing of his wife that occurred during a domestic dispute. Learnmore Jongwe represents the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the MDC, in parliament.

A lawyer said Saturday that as soon as he locates the head of the homicide squad, Mr. Jongwe would hand himself over to the police for prosecution.

Learnmore Jongwe, a lawyer by profession, was the second youngest member of the MDC's parliamentary team. The MDC was only nine-months old when Mr. Jongwe was elected to parliament in June 2000 at the age of 23.

Last year he married his wife, Rutendo, a final-year law student.

A spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change said the tragedy was a domestic affair, and had nothing to do with politics. The spokesman said Mr. Jongwe confirmed by telephone that he had stabbed his wife in a fit of jealousy.

The lawyer representing Mr. Jongwe said his client wants to give himself up to a senior policeman and will confess to the killing.

Mr. Jongwe is known as an articulate spokesman for the MDC, and has, like his parliamentary colleagues, been under intense pressure for the past two years. More than 150 MDC leaders and supporters have been killed, and only a handful of those cases have been prosecuted.

The state press reported the killing of Mr. Jongwe's wife on Saturday and said her death confirmed that the MDC was an organization "with a violent streak."