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After Weekend Of Interrogation, Zimbabwe Clerics Released On Bail

Eight senior officials of Zimbabwe's opposition Christian Alliance arrested Friday in a Midlands church for allegedly holding an illegal political meeting were arraigned in Kadoma magistrate's court Monday and released on Z$100,000 dollars bail each.

The eight men are scheduled to reappear in court March 5 on charges of holding a meeting without police authorization. Facing charges are Jonathan Gokovah, head of the organization’s ecumenical support services unit and also spokesman for the Save Zimbabwe campaign, Pastor Raymond Motsi and Pius Wakatama, spokesmen for the Christian Alliance, Pastor Ancelimo Magaya, Pastor Wilson Mugabe, Pastor Zvizai Chiponda, Lawrence Berejena and Gerald Mubaiwa.

The Christian Alliance, which emerged in late 2005 to relieve those made homeless by the government's "cleanup" program of forced evictions and demolitions, has become a focal point for civic opposition to the government of President Robert Mugabe. It helped spin off the Save Zimbabwe Campaign which organizes protests.

Churchman Motsi told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he and other detained clergymen were interrogated under hostile conditions by what they took to be agents of the feared Central Intelligence Organization.

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