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Opposition Leader Tsvangirai Blames 'State Agents' For Harare Beating

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters Wednesday that the July beating of members of a rival opposition faction, including a parliamentarian, was the work of state agents who had infiltrated local structures of his party.

Tsvangirai, founding president of the Movement for Democratic Change, released the findings of an internal party investigation into the July 2 beatings of Trudy Stevenson and several other members of the rival MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara.

He also denounced the recent severe beatings, allegedly by Harare police, of 15 labor leaders following abortive worker demonstrations on September 13.

From Harare, correspondent Thomas Chiripasi filed a report.

Tsvangirai’s explanation of the intra-opposition violence was less than satisfactory to Stevenson, who sustained the most severe injuries in the street ambush. She said his statement that his faction had been infiltrated amounted to an admission of guilt.

Though she had not yet seen the report, Stevenson told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Tsvangirai’s decision to purge the Mabvuku party apparatus proved that his MDC faction had included some violent elements.

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