February 22, 2002

Shots fired at opposition leader

Zimbabwean police on Friday, February 22, allegedly shot at the convoy of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai on his way to a campaign rally in a rural district in the south of the country. Two shots were fired by a police surveillance team trailing the convoy,

MDC spokesman Learnmore Jongwe told IRIN that no one was injured in the attack. The incident followed an earlier use of teargas by the police on an impromptu crowd that had gathered when Tsvangirai stopped for a lunch break on his way to Maringe village, 70 km from Masvingo. "The police said the gathering was illegal under the terms of the Public Order and Security Act. As MDC security started moving people back, they began firing teargas into the crowd," Jongwe said. When Tsvangirai's convoy left, a trailing police vehicle allegedly opened fire. The MDC leader's visit to the rural areas around Masvingo have been cancelled.

Jongwe said he was not aware of whether a complaint had been lodged with the police. "It maybe futile to report the incident to the same people that are shooting at us ... The police have been instrumental in derailing our campaign." (IRIN)

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