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Zimbabwe's MDC Releases Report Naming Perpetrators of Political Violence

The MDC says more than 500 of its members or supporters were murdered by ZANU-PF militants and state security agents from March 2008 to May 2010, a period that includes the 2008 presidential and general elections

A report issued by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change says the province of Mashonaland East has more perpetrators of political violence than any other in the country.

The survey by the former opposition party's welfare department, covering the period from March 2008 through May of this year, names individuals it says have committed political violence, identifying 11,248 nationwide.

The MDC says more than 500 of its members or supporters were murdered by ZANU-PF militants and Zimbabwean state security agents during the period, which includes the 2008 presidential and general elections.

According to the MDC report, the largest number of alleged perpetrators was in Mashonaland East with 3,689. The provinces of Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Midlands trailed with between 1,000 and 2,000 alleged perpetrators of political violence apiece.

The report said Harare metropolitan province had 385 alleged perpetrators, while Matabeleland South and North just 21 and 18, respectively.

It said the worst offender in Mashonaland East was Lawrence Katsiru, a ZANU-PF militant in Marondera. Aqualinah Katsande, lawmaker for Mudzi West, Mashonaland East, is alleged to have funded deadly youth militia violence.

The MDC report lists alleged military violations, in particular accusing Zimbabwean Army Col. Morgan Mzilakazi of leading ZANU-PF youth militia in the murder and rape of MDC activists in Buhera district, Manicaland.

MDC Deputy Spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that violence is escalating as the country moves into the public outreach phase of its constitutional revision process.

Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha of ZANU-PF dismissed the MDC claims as fictitious.

Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya said the failure of the Zimbabwe Republic Police to take action on political violence has emboldened its perpetrators