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Zimbabwe Civic Group Alleges Harassment By Police, Security Agents

The National Constitutional Assembly, a leading Zimbabwean civic organization, said police and agents of the Central Intelligence Organization harassed and detained its members in Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces last week.

The Harare-based organization said 12 members in Marondera, Mashonaland East, were detained for four nights by police after being arrested for holding a private meeting. Those arrested included three women with babies, NCA officials said.

All of those detained were released on Monday without any charges being pressed against them, the NCA sources said.

Elsewhere, the NCA's Manicaland provincial chairman, Elisha Makuyana, and another activist, were picked up Friday night by suspected CIO operatives, the NCA said.

Organization sources said state agents confiscated more than 50 T-shirts, shortwave radios and fliers. Makuyana and the other activist were released late Friday night, but were ordered to report to the CIO’s offices the next day, the NCA said.

NCA National Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he believed such tactics were intended to instill fear in his group's members to keep them from demanding reforms like a new constitution.

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