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Police Disperse March By Zimbabwean NGO Demanding New Constitution

Police in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, broke up a demonstration Friday by members of the National Constitutional Assembly demanding a new constitution be put in place before the presidential and general elections next year, NCA sources said.

The advocacy group said it was also protesting ongoing economic hardships which it blames on on the policies of President Robert Mugabe.

NCA officials said some 300 demonstrators marched from Africa Unity Square in the heart of downtown Harare towards the parliament building but were intercepted by the police who charged the crowd with batons and scattered it.

Source said NCA information officer Credence Sithole was taken into custody by state security agents. His whereabouts and arrest status remained unknown. VOA could not reach police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka to obtain further information.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

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