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Police confiscate donated radio sets


Police have been accused of raiding homes of suspected MDC-T supporters and confiscating shortwave radio sets they received from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Member of Parliament for Bikita West, Heva Shoko (MDC-T), said at least five homes were raided and radios confiscated.

The shortwave radio sets were recently donated to the villagers by NGOs to enable them to access alternative radio stations.

The radio sets are solar and manually-recharged and they give the people access to radio stations such as Studio 7, which Zanu PF has accused of being broadcasting “hate messages” against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

Shoko said two MDC-T supporters, Nobert Chinyike and Charles Mhizha, were arrested after being found in possession of the radios.

He said they were detained for about two hours at Masvingo East district police headquarters and at Nyika Police Base, respectively.

Shoko said the two men were both released without charge.

“That is a Zanu PF strategy to weaken our support base ahead of elections.” The police never offered any explanation except to say that the radios are illegal.

“It is a Zanu PF project to deny the people access to information, but we are saying the radios are just like any other radio which can access the local stations like ZBC,” Shoko said.

Police in Masvingo declined to comment on the matter, referring all the questions to their headquarters in Harare.

The raid comes barely two months after an official with an NGO in Gweru, the Democratic Councils Forum was arrested after he was found in possession of the radios, meant for distribution in the rural areas.

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