HARARE -ZIMBABWE’s main opposition party MDC-T said that police had closed its headquarters, claiming that they were afraid of an upswing in popular violence following the alleged abduction of an anti-government activist.
Police are investigating the disappearance on Monday of former journalist Itai Dzamara.
The government has denied claims by the opposition that he was abducted by state security agents.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said police had closed its headquarters following a rally demanding Dzamara’s release on Wednesday.
“Heavily armed police have barricaded our headquarters,” with several party members unable to come out, MDC representative Obert Gutu said. He also accused police of assaulting more than 13 party members after Wednesday’s rally.
There was no immediate comment from the government. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba defended the heavy police presence in Harare’s central business district, saying police needed to maintain order following the protest, which left at least seven people injured.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai cut short a visit to southern Zimbabwe.
Representatives of civil society organizations meanwhile said they would pressure the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to remove President Robert Mugabe as their chairman if Dzamara did not return..- Sapa-dpa