Officials of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for Democratic Change said Tuesday that suspected state security agents tried to abduct a party official, accusing President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party of trying to intimidate the Tsvangirai MDC grouping which has disengaged from its power-sharing partner.
MDC sources said late Tuesday that suspected state security agents had meanwhile abducted another party employee. They said armed men seized Pascal Gwezere on a street in Mufakose, one of Harare's high-density suburbs, around 6:45 p.m.
Witnesses said the abductors were in an Isuzu twin cab truck of the kind frequently associated with such abductions at their height in 2008.
A party spokesman confirmed the incident saying officials were still gathering information on the alleged abduction. ZANU-PF Deputy Spokesman Ephraim Masawi said there was no truth to MDC accusations that his party was behind today's incidents.
VOA Studio 7 correspondent Sylvia Manika reported from Harare on the news conference held by Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa following the attempted abduction of party security administrator Edith Mashayire on her way to work on Tuesday.
Mashayire said her armed assailants fled when she cried for help and a crowd gathered.
Tsvangirai MDC deputy spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo told reporter Patience Rusere that this incident and others in recent days are intended by ZANU-PF hardliners to intimidate the party over its disengagement from Mr. Mugabe's party in the unity government.
VOA sought comment on the allegedly foiled abduction from Zimbabwe Republic Police Spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena, who did not immediately offer a response.