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Lawyers Demand Information On Missing Zimbabwe Opposition Members

Lawyers for the dominant grouping of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change said Wednesday that they will soon file a motion with the country's high court asking it to find top police officials in contempt for failing to account for 13 seized opposition members.

Lawyers for the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by party founder and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai obtained a high court order last week compelling police to bring the MDC activists to court or to release them. But the lawyers said the police have failed to date to produce or disclose information regarding the MDC members.

The opposition activists are said to have been seized by state agents in Mashonaland West province three weeks ago and accused of plotting to topple the government. But they have yet to be arraigned and MDC lawyers have not been able to determine their whereabouts.

Cited in the motion seeking contempt charges were Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Chief Superintendent Crispen Makedenge and a Criminal Investigation Division detective-sergeant named Muuya.

Police told the court that they had handed the suspects to Makedenge, who had subsequently gone on leave. Makedenge was said to have returned from leave, but the lawyers said he has not cooperated with their inquiries. VOA was unable to obtain comment from the police.

MDC lawyer Alec Muchadehama told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he plans to file a report of missing persons on Thursday.

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