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MDC denies terrorism allegations

A newspaper has claimed opposition activists were trained in paramilitary tactics outside the country.

FILE: A supporter of Zimbabwe's MDC throws back a tear gas canister as protesters clash with police during a march against police brutality on August 24, 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - As tensions rise ahead of fresh protests planned in Zimbabwe this week, the main opposition party has denied claims that it's a terrorist organisation.

The state-run Sunday Mail is reporting that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists are receiving paramilitary training to carry out violent acts during street demonstrations.

In a front page story, the Sunday Mail claimed opposition activists were trained in paramilitary tactics outside the country.

Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo was quoted as saying that opposition leaders would be brought to account.

But MDC spokesman Obert Gutu says today that the claims are patently untrue.

He says in a statement that the opposition party has no intention of violently overthrowing President Robert Mugabe.

Instead, Gutu has accused the Zanu-PF government of going rogue by teargassing peaceful protesters.