MDC Demands Release of Detainees

MDC Demands Release of Detainees

BULAWAYO - THE Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the majority
of its 1 500 political activists are still detained despite the smooth
progress reported in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
mediated talks between the two main opposition parties in Zimbabwe.

“The situation has not normalized in rural areas and we still cannot
get a correct figure from our structures, we are still compiling the
information but what I can indicate at the moment is that the number of
those still in detention is quite high,” MDC national organizing secretary,
Elias Mudzuri said.

At the height of political violence that gripped the country before
and after the June 27 presidential run off, the MDC claimed that 1 500 of
its political activists and supporters were arrested on allegations of
perpetrating violence.

The MDC however said it did not have the precise figures to indicate
how many of its people are still in jail due to disruptions in its
structures countrywide.

Party sources however said the MDC was grappling with coming up with
the exact figure of how many of its supporters are still incarcerated.

The sources however said when the talks commenced three weeks ago a
substantial number of MDC  political activists was released from detention
on bail while in some instances some were released with the police saying
they will proceed with the cases through summons.

Mudzuri, confirmed that a lot of MDC activists were still held by the
police but said the party did not have specific numbers of those still held
and those released due to ongoing violence countrywide.

He however said violence was still taking place and said despite
denials from Zanu-PF its supporters were still being driven from their homes
and were still being targeted for attacks.

Oliver Mandipaka, the police spokesperson, was non-committal when
contacted to give a comment on the number of political activists still
detained for political violence cases around the country.

“We are still working on establishing how many people have been
released from prison because the situation is national that will take some
time but at the moment I will not give you an exact figure,” Mandipaka said.

South African president Thabo Mbeki, mediating im the Zimbabwe peace
talks was due to arrive in Zimbabwe Saturday to finalise the talks.
Radio VOP

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