Zimbabwe main opposition leader's convoy attacked: party

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Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)
Nelson Chamisa (File: AFP)

A convoy carrying Zimbabwe's main opposition leader was attacked by suspected ruling party supporters on Monday, his party said.

Nelson Chamisa "did not get injured although his close protection officers and security details were injured" and hospitalised, Fadzayi Mahere, spokeswoman for the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-Alliance), told AFP.

The party said around 200 villagers, suspected to have been mobilised by the ruling Zanu-PF, barricaded roads and hurled rocks at their cars in the southern Masvingo region.

"This political violence is cause for extreme concern and a clear act of desperation by a bankrupt, illegitimate regime that has failed," it added in a statement.

The party said Chamisa was on his way to meet community leaders in the Masvingo area when the convoy was attacked.

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Before the incident, anti-riot police had raided and dispersed a meeting at the private residence of the party's local leader in the area.

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana dismissed the attack as stage-managed "dramas".

Political tensions are rising in Zimbabwe before general elections due in 2023 in which Chamisa is expected to mount his second challenge for the country's top job against President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Late last month, 19 people, including 10 journalists, were arrested during a protest in front of the electoral commission in Harare where preparations were underway for the second polls since Robert Mugabe was deposed in a coup in 2017.

Mugabe, who died in 2019, was deposed by Mnangagwa.


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