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Zimbabwe Police Raid Opposition MDC Offices - 2004-01-23

Police in Zimbabwe have raided offices of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, raising political tension in the country.

Opposition justice spokesman and Bulawayo member of parliament David Coltart said detectives from the law and order section of the city's police have raided the party's offices, saying they were looking for documents and weapons of war.

All MDC members of parliament walked out of the house of assembly Thursday after the justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, supported by his colleagues, accused the opposition of being "enemies."

In addition, police this week closed down a public meeting of Harare residents at a city center hotel, saying it was a danger to national security. The residents said they had permission to meet with their elected councilmen, who are all members of the MDC, to discuss the sudden and dramatic rise in their water and rates bills.

The police were not available for comment Friday.