afrol News, 15 February - Five young Zimbabweans have gone "missing" after celebrating the victory of the Egyptian revolution. The five opposition supporters are believed to be in detention.
Also throughout Zimbabwe, the pro-democracy movement has eagerly followed events in Tunisia and Egypt, and spontaneous parties broke out in many places as it became clear that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak gave into protesters' demands on Friday by stepping down. Especially followers of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party celebrated the news.
In the central town of Masvingo, close to the historic city of Great Zimbabwe, five MDC supporters celebrating the Friday event have gone missing ever since.
"MDC officials here suspect that their members were abducted by President Robert Mugabe's dreaded spy agency - the CIO - as eyewitnesses said the five were bundled into to an Isuzu twin cab truck by armed men clad in black suits and dark glasses," according to a report by the local 'RadioVop' broadcaster.
Eyewitnesses had observed the five youths celebrating and drinking in central Masvingo shortly after the news of President Mubarak's resignation was known, chanting that President Mugabe should do the same.
Family members reported that the five have not been seen since Friday, fearing they were abducted or even killed by pro-Mugabe agents. Local MDC officials confirm that ruling party members and the secrete police routinely harass and intimidate opposition supporters in Masvingo.
Zimbabwe remains deeply split between the MDC and its pro-democracy movement on one side and the supporters of President Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF authoritarian ruling party. The split also follows ethnic divisions in Zimbabwe.
This division has also split Zimbabweans' view of the Egyptian revolution. The pro-Mugabe camp has tried to block out the news from Egypt. The pro-democracy camp has celebrated events in Egypt, studying if they could be replicated in Zimbabwe.
"It is interesting to see Mugabe feel so threatened by the end of the Mubarak regime," noted today the pro-democracy activist network 'Sokwanele'. "Egyptians should know, that even if we cannot cheer for your success in the streets of our country, Zimbabweans feel genuine joy at your accomplishment," it added.
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