Zim police must investigate attack on MDC MP - group

2015-04-24 15:22
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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Harare - A rights group in Zimbabwe said on Friday that police must investigate an attack on an opposition member of parliament in Harare after a rally by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai this week.

HealZimbabwe said suspected ruling party youths attacked MDC MP Costa Machingauta with bottles after the rally on Thursday in Budiriro township.

Pictures of Machingauta after the attack show his badly bloodied face and clothes. He is now being treated in hospital, his party says. Machingauta is the MP for Budiriro constituency.

Ten other MDC supporters were also allegedly attacked, sustaining minor injuries, HealZimbabwe said in a statement.

Innocent citizens

At least one of those attacked appeared to be an elderly woman.

Police have not confirmed the violence.

"The Zanu-PF youths first interrogated Mr Machingauta... as to why he was wearing MDC regalia. Soon after, they started assaulting him with bottles and threatened him with death if he continued to support the opposition," HealZimbabwe said.

Tsvangirai said in a statement on Friday: "When you have innocent citizens and an elected MP being viciously assaulted like that, it is cause for concern. I hope Africa and the broader international community are watching."

Heal Zimbabwe said the group "calls on the police to investigate the assaults and apprehend the culprits".

Journalist Chofamba Sithole tweeted: "35 years after independence in Zim, an MP can be brutalised for attending a rally."

Political violence

Though political violence occurred repeatedly during Zimbabwe's crisis years from 2000-2009, it has been less frequently reported in the last six years. Presidential elections are not due in Zimbabwe until 2018, when Zanu-PF wants long-time President Robert Mugabe, now 91, to stand for re-election.

By-elections in 14 parliamentary constituencies previously held by the MDC in Zimbabwe are however due in June.

Tsvangirai says his party will boycott those polls.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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