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Zimbabwe Opposition Charges State Price Crackdown Targets Activists

The faction of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change headed by MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai said authorities enforcing price cuts have been targeting businesses in rural areas owned by opposition members.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai faction told the Internet news agency ZimOnline that faction supporters in Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo provinces had been obliged to close their businesses after they were forced to sell their goods at prices far beneath those recently imposed by the government.

Authorities have arrested more than 7,000 people nationwide for overcharging and failing to display prices. On Tuesday, 22 stores were slapped with fines of Z$3 million each for the same breaches of regulations issued by the government in July.

Last week a magistrate sentenced six businessmen to 105 hours of community service cleaning government buildings after finding them guilty of violations.

Manicaland provincial spokesman Pishayi Muchauraya of the Tsvangirai faction told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that ZANU-PF militias in his province have been moving around with officers from a police unit enforcing state-imposed prices, pointing out businesses owned by opposition members.

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