Zimbabwe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party has launched a "zero-tolerance" campaign against its political opposition in the approach to the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2008.
Sources said ZANU-PF youth were were bused last weekend from Mutoko to Mutasa South, in Manicaland Province, where they addressed rallies and instructed their audiences to harass and beat up members of the opposition.
Deputy Youth Minister and ZANU-PF Youth Secretary Saviour Kasukuwere denied such rallies took place despite President Robert Mugabe’s call to ZANU-PF youth in April to “deal with the opposition” in their localities ahead of the elections.
But political analyst John Makumbe said there is ample evidence that ZANU-PF youth are under orders to intimidate and harass critics of the government.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...