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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 17:40 UK

Zimbabwe voices: Rural fears

The bandaged limbs of men reportedly injured in political violence in Zimbabwe (image from 3 May)

Thousands of Zimbabweans have fled after being beaten in rural areas, during what the opposition and human rights groups say is a deliberate campaign ahead of the the presidential run-off on 27 June.

Supporters of President Robert Mugabe are trying to stop opposition supporters from voting in the crucial poll, they say. So will their strategy work?

Here, some of those seeking treatment at a hospital in the capital, Harare tell local journalist Brian Hungwe whether they plan to return home for the second round.

CLEVER ZHUGA, 26, MOTKO

"I'm very willing. I can only go if we are well secured, the United Nations intervening, even SADC [Southern African Development Community]. If they come and stop this violence, we are prepared. But if those two organs cannot participate to make sure there is no more violence it means we cannot go back there."

CHARITY, 37, UZUMBA MURAMBA PFUNGWA

"No, I'm not going back. My house was destroyed. I don't have another place to go and stay. If things were settled I would like to go."

BENJAMIN MUPFUMURUTSA, 21, MOUNT DARWIN

"Yes, I am willing to go. In the last election I was a polling agent. When I go back I will be an agent. I will not hesitate to do that duty even with the violence. I'm fighting for change. That's what I know."

ENOCH CHIRUNDA, 32, SHAMVA

"I don't think so because they burnt everything for us. No IDs, no clothing, no shelter. I don't know where to go. They left us with nothing, completely nothing.

"[As to whether will benefit by our absence,] Zanu-PF will know there are no opposition supporters. Only Zanu-PF people will vote. There are no opposition supporters. It will be a big advantage for them."

VUSUMUZI MKWANANZI, 32, TEACHER, MOUNT DARWIN

"I might be willing to go and vote but the conditions on the ground don't allow us to go there freely. Actually I'm interested in going back because this government has to go for our own future."


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