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Violence Flares as Zimbabwe Rural Council Elections Near

Violence has continued in rural districts ahead of the October 28 rural district council elections with the home of an opposition candidate in Mashonaland East's Mudzi district going up in flames Friday in an apparent act of political arson.

Candidate and property owner Goodwell Mazarura said he recognized three of the arsonists as local militants of the ruling ZANU-PF party. Like other Mashonaland East districts, Mudzi is a ZANU-PF stronghold where hostility to the opposition runs high.

Another opposition candidate’s home was torched in Gokwe in the Midlands October 3 and a campaign manager had his plough confiscated by a local chief in that district.

MDC information officer Luke Tamborinyoka told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mazarura’s torched property was valued at $1.5 million, and that the opposition candidate was now sleeping in the open.

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