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Zimbabwe Opposition Death Toll At 33 As Provincial Official Fatally Stabbed

The death toll from post-election political violence among activists and supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has climbed to 33, officials of the MDC formation headed by Morgan Tsvangirai said on Wednesday.

They said activist Better Chakururama of Murehwa, Mashonaland East Province, was found murdered on Sunday but the news only reached Harare on Wednesday.

Opposition sources said Chakururama, who spent around four months in prison during 2007 in a government crackdown on the party, was still recovering from a beating he received three weeks ago when he was abducted Saturday and stabbed to death.

Elsewhere, the opposition party's security secretary for Harare province, Tonderai Ndira, was abducted from his Mabvuku home early Wednesday morning by heavily armed and masked men, MDC sources said. He has not been seen since.

Mashonaland East MDC Organizing Secretary Piniel Denga told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that Chakururama’s death has stunned party members.

Elsewhere, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network said two of its staff were detained by ruling party youth militia late Monday in Mudzi district, Mashonaland East Province, where they had gone to bring a victim of violence to a hospital. They escaped after being held for about six hours, but their Toyota Land Cruiser was confiscated.

National Director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said the group is trying to recover the auto, but acknowledged that this might be a dangerous undertaking.

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