'Detentions a threat to unity government' – Tsvangirai

Harare – The latest detention of 18 activists threatens the "longevity and durability" of Zimbabwe's unity government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party said on Tuesday.

"Today’s ruling seriously threatens not only the life and health of the inclusive government, but its longevity and durability," the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said in a statement.

"Today’s ruling is a flagrant disregard to the commitments and agreements" in the power-sharing deal that led to the formation of the unity government in February, it said.

The 18 activists, including leading human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko, were detained on Tuesday just two months after they had been freed on bail pending trial on charges of attempting to overthrow Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe.

"Today’s ruling slams shut the door of international goodwill. It undermines and threatens the goodwill that the inclusive government had begun to enjoy on the continent and the broader international community," the MDC said.

"The re-detention of the 18 is also most worrying as the state has no evidence on the charges that are being levelled against these innocent people," it added.

"The MDC calls for the immediate release of all the re-detained activists and also the release of seven MDC activists whose whereabouts remain unknown after they were abducted by state security agents in November and December last year." – AFP