Zimbabwe: clergyman badly beaten

 A Methodist minister lost an eye when he was attacked by government militias near Nyazura in Manicaland province on Saturday, Tichaona Sibanda from Radio SW Africa reports. Rev Takura Bang, 42, is in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Mutate. Rev Bang is from Chitenderano in Mackinaw South constituency. Newly-elected MDC MP for the area, Patchy Mockery said soldiers, led by a Major Dangirwa, and militias were responsible for the attack on Rev Bang. They used logs and sticks to beat him up saying he supported the MDC. He lost his right eye in the attack and the beating only stopped after they realised what they had done to him,, Mockery said. The MDC MP added that dozens more were left injured on Saturday as soldiers and militias went on the rampage. The beatings were punishment for attending an MDC meeting on Friday. Mockery said Major Dangirwa made it clear the MDC was banned from holding any rallies in the province. In another attack, last week Monday, an outspoken and well known Mt Melinda mission chaplain was abducted, after he gave a sermon on the injustice, corruption, misgovernance and the illegitimacy of the Mugabe regime from 1980 to date. War veterans later invaded the mission and abducted the Chapman. He was later released after intense interrogation. "Soldiers have taken over the role of police officers. Zany PA is fighting an undeclared war against innocent and unarmed victims. We need peace keepers to bring this madness to an end," Mockery said. The MDC secretary for International Affairs, Professor Alphas Mukonoweshuro, said election monitors and observers were expected to jet into the country yesterday. "They are supposed to arrive today (Monday) so we are checking with our officials to find out who has arrived," Mukonoweshuro said. The issue of observers has now become a major concern for the MDC after the Southern African Development Community promised to send an enlarged contingent by early June to monitor the elections. Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of South Africa said on Sunday the levels of intimidation showed the importance of deploying large numbers of election monitors. Speaking in Johannesburg after a trip to Zimbabwe the Archbishop said the country was now a police state. "The levels of intimidation I witnessed on a visit to Zimbabwe last week underline the crucial importance of deploying large numbers of both international and local election monitors for the June 27 presidential run-off," he said. Source: SW Radio South Africa

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