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Africa
Zimbabwe opposition MPs arrested
Two politicians from Movement for Democratic Change are taken from parliament.
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2008 09:15 GMT

Two MPs from Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been arrested as parliament prepared to meet for the first time since controversial parliamentary elections in March.

Shuah Mudiwa, member of parliament for Mutare West, and Elia Jembere of Epworth, were arrested outside parliament on Monday.

MPs were arriving for the swearing in of parliament and the election of a speaker when police made the arrests.

"It's clearly a strategy to eliminate our members and reverse our majority in parliament," Nelson Chamisa, MDC spokesman, said.

The ruling Zanu-PF party of Robert Mugabe, the president, suffered a historic reverse in the elections in March, winning only 97 seats compared to 100 taken by the MDC. A splinter party formed and led by Arthur Mutambara, a former MDC politician, has 10 seats.

Earlier Chamisa said: "We hear that they are also looking for a total of 15 of our members of parliament as part of an evil ploy to rig the elections for parliamentary speaker."

The police also attempted to arrest Elton Mangoma, one of the representatives of the MDC at recent power-sharing negotiations with the governing Zanu-PF of Robert Mugabe, the president.

Other MDC politicians prevented Mangoma from being taken away, sources told Al Jazeera.

Chamisa said that the MDC would not allow the vote for the speaker of the hoouse to go ahead after the arrests.

"Clearly they have chosen the path of arrogance, unilaterilism, that is a serious blow to confidence building in the talks," Chamisa said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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