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Zimbabwe Opposition Official Accused Of Calling President Mugabe 'Senile'

Police in the eastern Zimbabwean city of Mutare on Wednesday released an activist of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change who was arrested earlier this week for allegedly for calling President Robert Mugabe "senile" at a rally in August.

MDC Manicaland Youth Secretary Lloyd Mahute was freed after posting Z$500,000 bail in a court in Chipinge, Manicaland. Police accused him of making the comment about President Mugabe, who is 83, at a rally in Chipinge North last month.

Mutare police late Tuesday picked up another opposition member, Stanley Mabuyaye, who was accused of beating up a local councilor of the ruling ZANU-PF party and war veterans at Ngaone Business Center in Chipinge North over the past weekend.

MDC officials said the liberation war veterans and ZANU-PF supporters had gathered as the opposition prepared to stage a rally, intending to disrupt the gathering.

Opposition sources said Mabuyaye remained in police custody late Wednesday. MDC sources charged that he was being beaten and tortured by the police.

Reached after his release, MDC official Mahute told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that local police are on an anti-MDC offensive.

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