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Zimbabwe Authorities Continue To Deny Bail To Opposition Activists

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Detained members of the Zimbabwean opposition being held at Harare Central Police Station were taken Thursday without knowledge of their lawyers to a magistrate court in Chitungwiza, a town south of the capital, legal sources and family members said.

Other opposition members arrested in a raid on the headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change on March 28 were due back in court on Friday after a high court judge told police to look into claims they are MDC office workers, not activists.

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi sent four ministerial certificates to the high court opposing the granting of bail to the MDC members and workers, who authorities have charged with being behind a series of firebombings last month.

MDC lawyer Alec Muchadehama told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the minister was trying to intimidate judges with the documents.

Opposition officials said continuing abductions of officers and members are disrupting their work and paralyzing the Movement for Democratic Change. They said security organizations including the police and the Central Intelligence Organization have instilled fear in grass roots activists who form the MDC base of support.

National Director Ernest Mudzengu of the National Constitutional Assembly, one of the country's most effective opposition civic organizations, gave reporter Patience Rusere his assessment of the impact on the opposition of the hundreds of abductions.

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

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