Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ZIMBABWE CHARGES ON 'TOILET BOMB'

Five Zimbabwe opposition officials have been accused of bombing a kitchen in a police station and a toilet in the capital Harare, state media reports.

They were charged with terrorism, sabotage and malicious damage at Harare Magistrates' Court on Monday.

The five - who include an ex-police superintendent and journalist - were remanded, said the Chronicle newspaper.

They allegedly sneaked into Harare central police station on 2 August and used explosives to blow up a kitchen.

They were also reportedly accused of blowing up a men's toilet near the Harare headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department on 17 November.

Three days later they bombed Harare central police station again, says the prosecution. All the alleged attacks reportedly resulted in minor damage.

The prosecution also claims the accused detonated two bombs which blew up a 60cm stretch of rail track at Norton, near Harare, on 21 August.

The five are reportedly members of Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

They include Emmanuel Dhlamini, a former police superintendent, who the Chronicle says is MDC's head of security and intelligence and Gandi Mudzingwa, a personal adviser to Mr Tsvangirai.

The Chronicle reported that the court had allowed the five to be medically examined after they claimed they had been tortured in police custody.

Zimbabwe has been crippled by stalled power-sharing negotiations between the MDC and ruling Zanu-PF, as well as a cholera epidemic which has spread quickly amid the country's economic meltdown.

Mr Tsvangirai has threatened to pull out of talks on power-sharing unless the abduction of MDC officials stops.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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