Zimbabwe election NGO director released after police questioning

Other News Materials 15 April 2008 20:58 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Police in Zimbabwe detained the director of a non-profit election observation organization that had placed President Robert Mugabe second in last month's presidential elections for questioning briefly on Monday.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava was briefly detained on arrival from Britain via Johannesburg at Harare international airport, ZESN chairman Noel Kututwa said.

"They just wanted to know the work of ZESN," Kututwa said.

ZESN produced an estimate, from a sample of the results, showing opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai topping the poll in March 29 elections with 49.4 per cent of the vote against 41.8 for Mugabe and 8.2 per cent for former finance minister Simba Makoni.

The ZESN estimate contained a margin of error of 2.4 per cent.

A police officer at the airport, who asked not not be named, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa the questions related to the election projections.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has not yet released the official results of the election.

If no candidate takes more than 50 per cent of the vote the two top contenders must enter a runoff.