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Zimbabwe Opposition Denies Report of Plans to Disrupt Elections

Zimbabwe's main opposition party has denied allegations it plans to commit acts of violence to discredit next week's parliamentary elections.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the charges, published Monday in the state-run Herald newspaper, are "baseless."

The report alleged that five opposition party "hit men" were trained in South Africa to destabilize the country during the run-up to the March 31st poll.

An opposition spokesman (Paul Themba Nyathi) says the report is designed to tarnish the image of the opposition as election day nears.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said Monday years of intimidation and restrictive laws have skewed the electoral playing field in Zimbabwe in favor of the ruling party.

The group called on the regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community, to consider election abuses in the run-up to the poll before determining whether it is free and fair.

Some information for this report provided by AF.