Zim government discards opposition violence claims

ZIMBABWE - Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has dismissed as hearsay claims by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that its members are targeted in violent attacks by ruling party supporters, state media said yesterday.

ZIMBABWE - Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi has dismissed as hearsay claims by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that its members are targeted in violent attacks by ruling party supporters, state media said yesterday.

A delegation from the MDC was on Wednesday summoned to meet 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, its all hearsay," Mohadi told the official 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 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.

l Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's central bank chief Gideon Gono has called for the lifting of some price controls, saying price adjustments are needed in the inflation-riddled country, the Herald daily reported yesterday. Gono told reporters that shoppers should not expect prices to remain fixed.

In July, President Robert Mugabe ordered huge price slashes and a six-month price freeze that saw shoppers quickly emptying the stores. - Sapa-DPA

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