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Zim dismisses MDC violence claims as ‘hearsay’

Zimbabwe’s home affairs minister has dismissed as hearsay claims by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that MDC members are being targeted in violent attacks by ruling party supporters, state media said on Thursday.

A delegation from the MDC was on Wednesday summoned to meet Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi to explain the party’s claims.

”They gave me a list of claims and I am going to study the paper. There doesn’t seem to be anything of substance, it’s all hearsay,” Mohadi told the government mouthpiece Herald daily.

Last week the MDC reported a recent spate of violence, allegedly committed against its members across the country by state agents and supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.

The MDC said the violence was threatening South African-mediated talks aimed at defusing political tensions ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections next year.

But on Wednesday Mohadi told the opposition party not to take their claims of violence to the media, but to bring them to his office.

”This office is not a Zanu-PF office, but a government office. They should come to us first rather than go to the media when there are any problems,” Mohadi told the paper.

The head of the opposition’s delegation, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, said the meeting with Mohadi had taken place in a very amicable atmosphere, the Herald said. — Sapa-dpa

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