A town in eastern Zimbabwe was closed down Friday as ruling ZANU - PF party supporters staged a violent demonstration against an opposition member of parliament. The legislator, Roy Bennett, had recently scuffled with two government ministers on the floor of the parliament, after one of them taunted him with insults. Witnesses say the office of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, in the town of Chimanimani was largely destroyed.

Shopkeepers said Friday they were forced to close their businesses by the ruling ZANU PF so that their workers could take part in the demonstration against Mr. Bennett.

There has been a sporadic violence in Mr. Bennett's home province of Manicaland since he knocked down two cabinet ministers on the floor of the parliament earlier this month. Many workers in Chimanimani took to the dusty streets to demonstrate against Mr. Bennett, who has been warned by the government not to return to his constituency in the province. The legislator was not in Chimanimani at the time the MDC offices were attacked on Friday.

An eyewitness from the town, who asked not to be named, said the offices were extensively damaged in the attack.

Police in Chimanimani refused to comment on the unrest, but one local businessman said there was no police presence in the streets during the demonstration.