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Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe MDC energy minister arrested, again

Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

Police in Zimbabwe arrested the Energy Minister for the second time this month. The arrest of Elton Mangoma, who is with the opposition MDC party, is likely to further strain relations in the country’s fragile power-sharing government.

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The MDC says Mangoma was questioned by detectives from the Serious Fraud Squad Friday morning.

He has reportedly been indicted for trial on 18 July, though the new charges he is facing have not been confirmed.

State media on Sunday suggested Mangoma faced arrest for cancelling a tender process for prepaid electricity meters, after it had allegedly been won by a company that may have links to the ruling ZANU-PF party.

This is the second time police have arrested Mangoma in just over two weeks. His first arrest was for allegedly flouting tender procedures over a fuel deal.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said then it might be time for the MDC and ZANU-PF to agree to a divorce.

But commentators say that if the MDC leaves the power-sharing government, President Robert Mugabe could call an early election, something the MDC desperately wants to avoid.

They do not want a repeat of the violence that surrounded the 2008 polls.

Tsvangirai wants Mugabe to be forced to implement key reforms before any polls are held.

He plans to meet on Saturday the regional facilitator on the Zimbabwe crisis, South African President Jacob Zuma, in Durban.

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