The Mercury

MDC members fear for their lives

- Peta Thornycrof­t Independen­t Foreign Service

HARARE: Fear is spreading among Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters in Harare’s western townships as police continue a wave of arrests supposedly connected to the death of a policeman on Sunday.

MDC lawyers have had access so far to 15 of the MDC officials and supporters arrested after the death of police Inspector Petrus Mutedza. Marufu Manderere, of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said that yesterday at least another 15 more are believed to have been arrested but that authoritie­s had so far denied lawyers access to them.

He said the lawyers had only managed to get to see the first 15 arrested yesterday, after applying on Monday for them to appear in court. Three of them are women. They claimed to have been assaulted with one man showing “visible signs of assault”, Manderere said.

MDC sources said they believed that the police were using the death of Muledza as a pretext for a round-up of MDC officials and supporters as part of a wider election strategy by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF to paint the MDC, rather than Zanu-PF, as the main instigator of violence.

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