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Zimbabwe lifts 3-month ban on meetings of the opposition

A three-month government ban on meetings of Zimbabwe's main opposition ZAPU party in the midlands and neighboring Mashonaland West Province has been lifted, Home Affairs Minister Simbi Mubako has announced. The action was taken because of ''encouraging statements by ZAPU leaders condemning the activities of the dissidents.'' Mr. Mubako said, ''As long as meetings are peaceful ... the government will permit them.''

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The government slapped the ban on meetings of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) in June after supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party staged massive demonstrations against what they said was widespread killings of members by antigovernment rebels. ZAPU denies the rebels are members.

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