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Zimbabwe Opposition Cries Foul Over Rural Ballot Disqualifications

Hundreds of prospective candidates for rural district council seats from both factions of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change - 300 from the faction led by MDC founding president Morgan Tsvangirai - have been disqualified from running in elections coming up next month. MDC officials allege discrimination in the process by the ruling ZANU-PF party aiming to maintain its dominance of rural areas.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai faction said most of the disqualifications arose from a lack of clearance letters from pro-ZANU-PF chiefs and local police.

Chamisa spoke with reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe.

Elsewhere, six officials of the Tsvangirai faction arrested in Kariba late last week for allegedly organizing an illegal meeting were expected to stand trial on November 13. They included the member of parliament for Kwekwe, Blessing Chebundo, and the former mayor of Chegutu, Francis Dhlakama.

Kariba mayor John Houghton, one of 17 MDC officials arrested at a meeting which he said concerned health issues, said the six now facing charges under the Public Order and Security Act were released on Z$10,000 bail. Eleven others were released.

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