(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Prison service suspends 16 alleged MDC supporters

Sixteen prison officers were allegedly suspended indefinitely from the Zimbabwe Prison Service on allegations that they were active members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the 'Daily news' reported on Monday.

The report said the officers were stationed at the Chikurubi prison headquarters complex, comprising of the maximum security prison facility and training depot in Harare. The newspaper quoted a letter dated 27 September and sent to each of the suspended officers as saying: "The above named member is to be placed on interdiction from duty on half pay with effect from 27 September 2001 in terms of Section 6 (1) of the Prisons (Staff) (Appointment and Discharge) Regulations, 1984 for allegations of being an active member of the opposition political party MDC."

Some of the suspended officers were quoted as saying that they had been visited by Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) officers. They said they were living "in constant fear for their lives". They denied being active members of the MDC, insisting they did not belong to any political party, the report said.

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