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Zimbabwe opposition chief arrested

Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai is Mugabe's main political threat in next March's election  

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Police arrested the Zimbabwe opposition leader after allegedly finding a two-way radio during a dawn raid of his home, his party says.

Police raided Morgan Tsvangirai's home in northern Harare shortly after 5 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Friday.

He was taken to the main police station for several hours for questioning before being released, Learnmore Jongwe, a spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change said.

He added: "Mr. Tsvangirai was arrested around 4:30 a.m. (0230 GMT) this morning in connection with a walkie talkie radio found with his security guards when police searched his house."

Police gave no details of possible charges.

Jongwe told Reuters: "We understand he has now been released, but we don't have the details. We are waiting to hear from his lawyer."

The arrest came a day after President Robert Mugabe threatened to crack down on the opposition and its backers, whom he accuses of waging a campaign of political violence and terrorism.

Mugabe has come under intense international pressure to put an end to political violence here, guarantee fair elections, and stop sanctioning a violent campaign of seizures of white-owned farms.

Tsvangirai, 49, is running against Mugabe, 77, in next year's presidential election, and poses the biggest challenge to the president's 21-year rule.

Tvangirai has been arrested before. In November, Zimbabwe's Supreme Court threw out charges of terrorism against Tsvangirai, ruling that they contravened the country's constitution.

Tsvangirai had been charged with terrorism and sabotage after telling a rally last year that Mugabe should quit or face violent removal.



• Zimbabwe Government
• Zimbabwe Democracy Trust

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