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Zimbabwe Opposition Faces Continued Violence Ahead of March 29 Poll

Reports of politically motivated violence and intimidation continue to surface in various parts of Zimbabwe with national elections less than two weeks off on March 29.

In the Mutasa South constituency of Manicaland Province, suspected ZANU-PF members beat up two supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change grouping of presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, and another two supporters of his formation were forced to go into hiding.

Also in Manicaland, two families in the Makoni South constituency were evicted from Takunda Farm for backing the opposition. In Mutare North, one MDC supporter was injured and his election material was confiscated and burnt.

Social Welfare Coordinator Blessing Matimba of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said at least 20 other supporters have been injured in clashes in other parts of the country since the election campaign was officially launched in mid-February.

The party says it is verifying eight more reports of violence in which five activists were injured in recent days in Bindura and Mount Darwin in Mashonaland Central, three activists in Hurungwe and Mhangura, Mashonaland West, were hurt Tuesday.

The United People’s Party says six activists and one parliamentary candidate were assaulted and injured in Zengeza East and Hatcliffe, Harare Province.

Doctor Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said that although reports of political violence are said to be on the rise, his organization is seeing fewer severe cases than in previous election periods.

But Gwatidzo told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he can't rule out the possibility that more injuries have been sustained in other parts of the country then in the Harare metropolitan area where he is located.

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