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Parts Of Zimbabwe's Manicaland Province Still 'No-Go' Zone For Opposition


Opposition officials in Zimbabwe's Manicaland province said war veteran leader Joseph Chinotimba has been pursuing a campaign of harassment and threats against members of the Movement for Democratic Change in the Buhera South constituency.

Opposition sources said Chinotimba addressed a meeting of village heads early this week and told them to ignore ongoing power-sharing talks between the long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, and the two formations of the MDC, and to pay no attention to a call by all of the parties in the talks for an end to political violence.

Chinotimba is said to have ordered the headmen to keep pressure on opposition members returning to their homes after fleeing the political violence which began after the MDC won a majority in parliament in a March 29 general election and continued to mount through June when President Mugabe, unopposed, claimed victory in a June 27 presidential runoff.

The MDC said some returnees have been badly beaten by Chinotimba’s gang.

Buhera South has remained a "no-go" area for opposition members due to political violence. Chinotimba's name is on a list of ZANU-PF and government officials under European Union sanctions. VOA was unable to reach Chinotimba for comment on the charges.

Elsewhere, sources in Tshitshi district, rural Plumtree, Matabeleland South, said war veterans there are denying MDC members access to local maize-grinding mills.

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

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