After launching allegations Saturday that a plot was afoot to assassinate presidential candidate and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, his Movement for Democratic Change said Monday that 18 military snipers had been assigned to kill him.

MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti told reporters in Nairobi, Kenya, that the MDC had received reports the Military Intelligence Directorate was behind the alleged plot.

Reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reached Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga, who dismissed the charges.

Martin Rupiya, a retired Zimbabwe Defense Forces lieutenant colonel now with the Cranfield University Center for Security Sector Management in Britain, said he did not want to speculate as to a military plot, but commented that the ongoing violence in the country is evidence enough that Tsvangirai?s life will be in danger if he returns to Zimbabwe unless the Harare government guarantees his safety.

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