Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Police fanned out around the country on Monday ahead of the planned strike. Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change has called a general strike, with tight security even though no demonstrations are planned.
It comes after the High Court ruled against an MDC demand for the release of presidential election results.
The opposition says Morgan Tsvangirai beat President Robert Mugabe in the vote and one of its poll agents has since been killed by Zanu-PF militia.
Police accuse the MDC of "agitating for violence" by calling for the strike.
Rather than street protests, opposition officials have called for a "mass stay-in until the results are released," MDC Vice-President Thokhozani Khupe was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
Police warned that "those who breach the peace will be dealt with severely and firmly".
But with four out of five Zimbabweans jobless, widespread fear of the security forces, and rallies banned, it is not clear how much impact the strike will have, says the BBC's southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles.

On Monday, the High Court judge said the outcome of 29 March presidential polls could not be published until reports of anomalies in some seats had been investigated.
MDC officials and their homes have allegedly been attacked since the polls.
Electoral officials had said they could not release the result until after a recount of the vote in some seats.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the BBC the High Court ruling in the capital, Harare, was "absolutely ridiculous and incredible".
It comes amid reports of increasing violence around the country.
Some 200 MDC elections agents and activists have been assaulted - one fatally - by ruling party activists attempting to intimidate them before any run-off vote for president, Mr Chamisa said.
About 1,000 people have reportedly been displaced by political violence in the eastern Manicaland province.

Amid the ongoing tension, Mr Tsvangirai is currently basing himself in neighbouring Botswana.
Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF welcomed Monday's ruling, denying the court was biased towards the ruling party.
Independent tallies suggested Mr Tsvangirai won the poll, but took less than 50% of the vote, meaning he would have to face a run-off.
But the MDC says it would not take part in a run-off, saying a further election would mean increased violence - the first round was relatively peaceful.
The electoral commission says a recount of presidential and parliamentary results in 23 constituencies will start on Saturday.
Zanu-PF wanted a recount in 22 constituencies, while an MDC recount request in one seat has also been granted.
Zanu-PF has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in Mr Mugabe's 28-year rule.
But it could be recovered if the ruling party is awarded just nine of the 23 seats subject to a recount.
Southern African leaders called for the election results to be announced "expeditiously" during a summit at the weekend in Zambia.
But it did not urge Mr Mugabe to step aside, as the MDC had wished.



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