Zimbabwe police use tear gas on food rioters

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In a second day of rioting over food price rises in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, police deployed tear gas yesterday against township crowds and allegedly attacked an opposition MP and his family, accusing them of being ringleaders in thedisturbances.

In a second day of rioting over food price rises in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, police deployed tear gas yesterday against township crowds and allegedly attacked an opposition MP and his family, accusing them of being ringleaders in thedisturbances.

As protests - sparked by rises in the price of bread and bus fares - appeared to spread to more of Harare's poor townships, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it would begin impeachment procedures against President Robert Mugabe.

Justin Mutenda Dzamera, an MDC MP, said his wife, Hilda, had been taken to hospital with severe buising after 50 riot police called at their home at 3.15am yesterday. "They used clubs and sticks on us and accused us of organising the food riots," said the MP for Mabvuku who suffered severe bruising to his back and buttocks, and a lacerated arm.

The latest rioting appears to have erupted on Monday morning after residents of Mabvuku township discovered on their way to work that bus fares had doubled, only days after 30 per cent increases in the prices of bread, soft drinks and sugar.

Yesterday, in five townships surrounding Harare, riot police fired tear gas at youths brandishing stones and sticks from behind barricades.

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