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'Not a suitable candidate to be granted bail'
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
May 11, 2007

The MDC detainees who have been in custody for 44 days, without trial, were on Friday remanded in custody again. Their next remand hearing has been set to 1st June. One of their lawyers Andrew Makoni said they would appeal in the High Court. The ruling was actually made in absentia as the police failed to take the 32 political prisoners to court saying they had no fuel. An MDC official said: "The activists were made to wait for more than 6 hours to be taken to court but police later said they had no fuel! The claims by the police that they don't have resources are just an excuse as resources suddenly become available when they are responding to demonstrations." The lawyer said the MDC activists are being routinely remanded whilst they are handling their bail application in the High Court. Makoni said the bail application for Ian Makone, Morgan Tsvangirai's aide, was also heard in the High Court Friday but the state opposed it. The police said Makone was 'not a suitable candidate to be granted bail." He is expected to be taken to the High Court again on Tuesday.

Human rights doctors say some of the activists are critically ill, following torture by state agents. The court also threw out a medical affidavit that had been supplied by prison doctors at Friday's remand hearing due to lack of information. Andrew Makoni confirmed that the police were ordered to bring back proper medical reports explaining the reasons for the injuries and the medication given to the detainees. Analysts say there is an unsettling political tension as more and more opponents are being targeted by the Mugabe regime. Scores of opposition members have been on the receiving end of an orgy of state sponsored violence. Three people, MDC activists Gift Tandare, Itai Manyeruke and cameraman Edward Chikomba have been murdered since the month of March. It has also been reported that this week the Zanu PF led brutality has claimed another life, although we were not able to get confirmation from the police.

The opposition have said Zanu PF militias in Mount Darwin murdered an MDC activist Irene Kamoyo. It is reported the activist was allegedly killed after she was accused of selling opposition party cards in the ruling party stronghold. A media report claims she was beaten using logs and axes and later died in hospital on Thursday. Henry Chimbiri, the Mashonaland Central provincial chairman for the Mutambara MDC told us: "Yes I can confirm a report that has been made to me through our structures of the information and publicity, that a member by the name Irene Kamoyo from Rushinga was murdered by some Zanu PF youths." The MDC official said the woman was beaten up so severely that she had to be transferred from Rushinga to Mount Darwin hospital where she later died. Efforts to get a comment from hospital authorities were fruitless. Chimbiri said MDC officials were making plans to visit Rushinga. He said relatives were afraid to make a report to the police as the militia had threatened them.

Most media reports have been focusing mainly on the retribution campaign in the cities but Chimbiri said intimidation is just as rife in rural areas. He said there has been an escalation of violence as well as night visits in Mashonaland Central in recent weeks. Guruve North and South, Mukumbura and Rushinga areas have become hotbeds of state sponsored political violence. The provincial chairman said: "This violence should stop forthwith. We are an official party. We are registered and everyone the world over including Zanu PF government knows that we are an opposition in operation. We have members in parliament and so we are not a secret movement!"

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