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Zimbabwe Traditional Chief Imposes Fines On Opposition Members

Opposition officials in Zimbabwe's Manicaland province said a traditional leader in Makoni district has imposed fines on all members of the Movement for Democratic Change living there for alleged “over-excitement” following the March 29 elections, which the MDC won.

The MDC officials said an aide to Chief Chiduku recently ordered headmen in the district to collect fines of Z$50 (US$1) from MDC members with a payment deadline of August 15. Those who have not paid the fine by then are threatened with expulsion from Makoni district.

MDC officials at the national level said members across the country are facing similar problems when they try to return to their homes having fled political violence in the April-July period.

They say some opposition members are being beaten while others are forced to pay fines in cash and livestock before they are allowed to settle back into their homes.

MDC Manicaland provincial spokesman Pishai Muchauraya told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party is considering legal action against Chief Chiduku on grounds that he is engaging in a form of extortion.

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