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Zimbabwe Security Forces Disrupt Opposition Memorial Service

Police and apparent members of Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization raided the rural Masvingo Province home of a leading opposition figure who died in May, expelling hundreds who had gathered there Sunday to memorialize him.

The police action came on the eve of Zimbabwe's Heroes Day, which honors those who gave their lives in the the 1980s war for liberation from white rule.

Those assembled at the home of the late Isaac Matongo, founding chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change and chairman of the MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai at the time of his death, included family members and activists.

The previous day, authorities in Masvingo city barred members of the opposition from traveling to the memorial service as police had not given it approval.

The faction’s Masvingo Province branch lined up sporting events including soccer for youths to honor his memory. He died May 2 in Harare and was buried in Gutu.

Masvingo Central Member of Parliament Tongai Matutu, secretary of the Tsvangirai MDC faction's Masvingo Province branch, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the ceremony was a private function and needed no clearance from police.

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