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Zimbabwe Police Summon Church Leaders Over Help to Displaced Families

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga
  • Benedict Nhlapho

Sources said the police wanted to question the Christian Alliance pastors about help provided to supporters of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change displaced by recent violence in Harare and sheltered in churches

A spokesman for Zimbabwe's Christian Alliance of church leaders said Harare police told pastors belonging to the organization to report to them for questioning, but the religious leaders refused on the advice of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Sources said the police wanted to question the Christian Alliance pastors about help provided to supporters of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change displaced by recent violence in Harare and sheltered in churches.

Christian Alliance National Director Useni Sibanda told Brenda Moyo that pastors are seeking a meeting with Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri.

Sibanda said they want to know why police are seeking pastors instead of criminals.

Political violence has surged in Harare in recent weeks, capped early last week by an attack with looting by thousands of alleged youth supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party on the Gulf shopping and flea market district.

Elsewhere, the National Constitutional Assembly has praised Egyptians for overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak, saying that uprising inspired Zimbabweans who continue to endure the dictatorship of President Mugabe.

In a statement issued today, the non-governmental organization condemned incidents of violence in Zimbabwe. It said the Egyptian example shows that Zimbabweans can determine their future even in the most trying political atmosphere.

National Constitutional Assembly Youth Chairman Alois Dzvairo told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that his organization, which opposes the parliamentary-led constitutional revision process, has intensified an “”Act Now Against Political Violence” campaign.

More than 200 youth members of the the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai rallied in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the weekend and resolved to pursue an "Egyptian" strategy if free and fair elections are not held.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Benedict Nhlapho reported from Johannesburg.

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