February 17, 2005

MDC elections director arrested

Zimbabwean police have arrested the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) elections director, Ian Makone, while he was addressing a conference of MDC candidates for the parliamentary elections. Police allege he was addressing an illegal gathering. The arrest follows that of MDC candidates Thokozani Khuphe and Nelson Chamisa, who were arrested recently for allegedly holding meetings without police clearance.
In a different context, the opposition has criticized that voters’ rolls had glaring errors which were likely to disenfranchise thousands of voters, especially in urban constituencies. A voters’ roll audit conducted unearthed hundreds of ghost voters, with some entered more than once. There are also incomplete addresses and dubious entries. This came out as the High Court in Bulawayo barred police from interfering with the voters’ roll inspection countrywide. High Court Judge Maphios Cheda granted the opposition an interim relief to conduct its voter verification exercise without interference. (The Zimbabwe Independent, Harare / Business Day, Johannesburg)

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