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Zimbabwe Opposition Reports Reprisals Following Rural Elections

Some members of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe's rural areas say they are now facing retribution from the ruling party and local officials because of their support for the opposition in just-ended rural district council elections.

The ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe took the lion's share of council seats in the October 28 rural district elections. The opposition posted minor gains.

Opposition sources said three members of the MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara were evicted from an irrigation scheme project in Beitbridge, in the south of the country, after they sought ward seats in the district council elections.

Matabeleland South spokesman Zinti Mhlanga of the Mutambara faction said four of the winning members have been threatened and urged to join the ruling party.

In Mashonaland West, a village leader said members of the MDC faction of Morgan Tsvangirai have been evicted from a market place in Sanyati.

Mbichana village head Chikomborero Dhliwayo told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that people in two local wards were living in fear in the wake of the ruling party's reassertion of control over their rural areas.

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