Youth members of the ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe clashed with police this week in Bulawayo, the country's second larges city, as authorities sought to evict them from an apartment block they invaded some weeks ago.
Sources said the ZANU-PF youth have targeted properties owned by business people of foreign origin. They said the ZANU-PF youths accuse the owners of charging exorbitant rents for flats, though some of the apartment buildings are not occupied.
Police on Tuesday evicted the youths from the Victoria House apartment block, but sources said the youths, numbering more than 70, had returned to the building by Wednesday.
The local ZANU-PF branch is said to be divided on the takeover strategy.
Sam Ncube, president of the Bulawayo branch of the Affirmative Action Group, told VOA reporter Chris Gande that while his organization is concerned about apartment blocks that are empty given local housing shortages, it does not condone such illegal invasions.