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Zimbabwe Police Official Blames PM Tsvangirai's MDC for Recent Violence

Zimbabwe Republic Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said investigations linked recent violence and chaos to the MDC, warning that authorities would deal impartially with unruly elements

A spokesman for the Zimbabwe Republic Police has issued a statement blaming the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for the violence that has rocked Harare in recent weeks. MDC officials rejected the charge.

ZRP Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said police investigations linked the chaos to the MDC, saying authorities would deal with unruly elements and with all political violence in the country impartially.

The Tsvangirai MDC formation responded that the police have been working hand in hand with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF, posing a new threat to democracy.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that his party wrote to the police through the Home Affairs Ministry objecting to the report.

Bvudzijena could not be reached for further comment on his statement.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said his party backs the police statement.

The British Embassy in Harare meanwhile put out its own statement blaming ZANU-PF for the violence and related looting in the capital in recent days.

Ambassador Mark Canning said such incidents would make it hard for Britain and other friends of Zimbabwe to help attract the investment the country badly needs.

Political analyst Mqondobanzi Magonya told Brenda Moyo that the violence shows the international community Zimbabwe is not yet ready for foreign investment.

In another incident of alleged state-sanctioned violence, suspected security agents ransacked the Harare offices of the Youth Forum, which has been encouraging young people to register to vote, confiscating printed materials from the group.

Youth Forum Senior Program Manager Terrence Chimhavi said the officials harassed members of his organization, asking why they were urging the youths to register when the date for elections has not yet been set. President Robert Mugabe has said that elections should be held by the middle of this year.

Chimhavi told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that his group has closed its office because the suspected state agents vowed to return.