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Zimbabwe Opposition Reports More Than 100 Politically Inspired Arrests


More than 100 members of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change were arrested or beaten up around the country this weekend in politically motivated incidents, MDC sources said Monday.

In the province of Mashonaland Central alone, sources in the MDC grouping headed by Morgan Tsvangirai said some 100 activists including the formation's candidate for Bindura North, Peter Mabika, were arrested on their way to a rally.

All were released except 13 who were expected to be arraigned soon.

In Matabeleland South Province, suspected Central Intelligence Organization agents and youth militia of the ruling ZANU-PF party smashed the automobile of Insiza South parliamentary candidate Siyabonga Ncube late last week, MDC sources said.

In Bulawayo, ZANU-PF supporters made a “citizens arrest” of MDC activist Duduzile Sibanda, saying she had defaced a poster of President Mugabe, seeking another term in the March 29 elections. She was released Monday after a weekend in jail.

In a similar incident, the state-controlled Herald newspaper said Tichaona Sande of Epworth, a Harare high-density suburb, had been sentenced to a month in jail for tearing down a poster of President Mugabe.

In a more disturbing case of suspected political foul play, a candidate for the local council for Rushinga, Mashonaland Central, Edson Muwengwa, has been missing since mid-February after receiving death threats from local ZANU-PF members.

Deputy Organizing Secretary Morgan Komichi of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said there has been no serious investigation by police into Muwengwa's disappearance.

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