Armed men raided the house of Emmanuel Chiroto, a senior member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and recently elected mayor.
They burned down the house with petrol bombs and kidnapped his wife, Abigail, 27, and their four-year-old son, Ashley. The boy was released a few hours later, but Mrs Chiroto is still missing.
The incident bore all the hallmarks of a state-organised operation designed to break the MDC's organisation by targeting its key figures. Five of the MDC's local organisers have been murdered.
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Ir is sobering to recognize that throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa Mugabe is a hero because of his racist, Maoist, anti-colonialist past and that nobody in the region is willing to take action to depose him, and the carnage continues, and so it goes, and so it goes.