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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Zimbabwe MP arrested over wife's death
MDC Leader, Morgan Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai was saddened by the murder
The spokesperson for Zimbabwe's main opposition party is due to appear in court in the next 48 hours after being arrested for his wife's murder.

Learnmore Jongwe, 28, was arrested on Sunday and admits stabbing his wife Rutendo on Friday.


He is not denying that he stabbed her, but he is denying that he intended to murder her

Learnmore Jongwe's lawyer
His lawyer says that he denies intending to kill her but acted in a fit of jealousy.

Correspondents say that the state media has used the case to portray the opposition Movement for Democratic Change as a violent party.

It has been reported that he suspected his wife of infidelity and during a row, stabbed her three times with a kitchen knife.

He then fled the house and attempted to commit suicide.

Young child

Mr Jongwe turned himself in to police on Sunday, following a manhunt.

His lawyer, Jonathan Samkange told Reuters news agency:

"He has been warned and cautioned. The charge is murder. He is not denying that he stabbed her, but he is denying that he intended to murder her."

Teargas at Zimbabwe University
Jongwe was involved in several student protests

Rutendo Jongwe, 23, was a final-year law student at the University of Zimbabwe.

The couple have a seven-month-old child.

Mr Jongwe also studied law and became the leader of the students union.

He was involved in several violent student confrontations with the police.

He was elected to parliament in June 2000, along with several other former student leaders who had helped form the MDC.

If convicted of murder, he could face the death sentence.

MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, expressed deep sorrow at Mrs Jongwe's death.

"We in the party unreservedly condemn all forms of violence whether domestic or public. It is our hope that the police and other arms of the law will take appropriate action to ensure that justice is done in this case."


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23 Feb 02 | Africa
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