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Forget Free Election, Rule of Law – Evidence

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ImageIt is now self-evident that President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF has decided to take a lawless path back to power, having realised that they cannot win any election again.They are trying to scuttle the SADC initiative by rubbishing President Jacob Zuma's the facilitation team's report. They are carrying on illegal exhumations in violation of a court order. 

Nathaniel Manheru, who is largely believed to be President Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, recently wrote on his column that the UNDP should not supervise and fund the coming election.

Why? Because the UN in the Ivory Coast was involved in "regime change" for having supported the winner, Allasane Ouattara, to get into office in spite of the loser, Laurent Gbagbo, refusing to leave office.

Besides the fact that what happened in Ivory Coast has nothing to do with us, we can ask what Zanu (PF) thought the UN should do after Gbagbo refused to leave office; accommodate him as we did Robert Mugabe?

ZANU-PF hardliners are said to be wary of an SADC, UN or EU role in the election. But the rational voice is presented by the likes of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition who say Harare must accept outside supervision in order for the elections to regain legitimacy after the last elections which led to a negotiated government.

The Institute for Democracy in Africa has gone further and said SADC must put teeth in the elections road-map being drafted by negotiators for the unity government parties by including penalties for failure to comply.

Solidarity Peace Trust has finalised a report “The Hard Road To Reform” in which it says Global Political Agreement three years ago set up the Inclusive Government to establish conditions for a free and fair election, but, instead, it has provided the site for intense struggles over the state, with Zanu PF always in an advantageous position because of its control of the coercive arms of the state – police, army agents.

"It is thus not surprising that the Mugabe regime has used its control of the police, security and military sectors to contain the constrained promise of the GPA to open up democratic spaces."

The report, according to its authors, sets out to think through the politics of the last two years in Zimbabwe, setting out the challenges that have had to be confronted, but also noting the opportunities it has provided, and the possibilities for the near future. It is, or should soon be available on this link. Meanwhile mounting evidence of Zanu (PF) lack of interest in complying with anything:

Vendors in Harare's high density suburb of Mbare were this week threatened with eviction from their market stalls, for reading copies of the private daily newspaper, NewsDay. Police and Zanu (PF) are well aware, but nothing gets done.

According to NewsDay the threats were against stallholders suspected to be supporters of the MDC-T.

The previous week copies of NewsDay were torn in Harare by a group of suspected Zanu PF Youths on their way to an anti- sanctions campaign launched by President Robert Mugabe in Harare. They accused the paper of being anti-Zanu PF and anti-government.

And Catholic Bishop Marko Mnkandla was arrested on Wednesday evening in Lupane. at an organized prayer service under the theme of national healing and transitional justice at Silwane Primary School, Jiba-Jiba ward.

The Bishop and the co-Minister of the Organ on Healing and National Reconciliation, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, had addressed the meeting for when Mnkandla was arrested.

He has since been transferred to Hwange Police station, and Bulawayo Agenda, who had organised the meeting, has referred the case to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who have dispatched a legal team to work on the case.

Bulawayo Agenda is still trying to establish what charges have been laid against the Bishop.

This meeting had been deliberately organized as a prayer service in order to avoid seeking permission from the police, which was unlikely, considering the current developments where there is an effort to frustrate or dilute the genuine process of national healing that will produce truth recovery.

Co-Minister Mzila had been scheduled to address another meeting (not organized by Bulawayo Agenda) on the same subject at Bidi Centre, Matobo South, but when he arrived he found police officers had already dispersed the crowd arguing that they got orders not to allow the meeting to take place. This meeting therefore did not take place.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) report that Glenview South MP Paul Madzore (MDC) appeared in court on charges of allegedly assaulting a police officer in 2006!

Madzore was on Monday served with summons to appear in court on Wednesday for trial on charges of assaulting Detective Constable Everisto Maponga

Prosecutors allege that Madzore unlawfully and intentionally assaulted Maponga, who was on patrol in the suburb on 14 December 2006 at Makomva Shopping Centre in Gleniew 2, Harare.

The prosecutors claim that Hon. Madzore punched Maponga with his hands on the chest and he staggered as a result of the knocking!

The trial failed to commence on Wednesday and was rescheduled to 17 May after Mr Jeremiah Bamu of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) protested at being served with State papers while in court on Wednesday.

And Shakespeare Mukoyi, one of the congregants arrested during the suppression of the prayer meeting in Glen Norah last Saturday, appeared in court on Wednesday and was granted free bail.

Mukoyi's lawyers argued that he was assaulted by police all over his body with truncheons and clenched fists.

SW Radio Africa reported that Mukoyi was brutally assaulted by police in the church building and denied access to medication, even after an X-ray examination which showed the need for urgent treatment.

Police took him to Harare Hospital during the evening where he was attended to briefly. He was however unceremoniously seized from the hospital and re-detained at Harare Central Police Station.

Twelve of the people arrested with him were released on Monday but police detained him for an extra two days, claiming he assaulted a police officer on the day he was arrested.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesman, Kumbirai Mafunda, confirmed Mukoyi’s release saying he will next appear in court for trial on the 18th May.

He said Mukoyi was in pain and was wearing a neck brace. His clothes were also stained with blood, a result of the injuries he sustained from the brutal beatings.

Mukoyi’s lawyer, Marufu Mandevere, raised the issue of his client being assaulted and denied medical treatment by the police. Although the presiding Magistrate ordered an investigation into the assault it’s always known the police can never seriously investigate themselves.

At least thirteen people, among them four priests, were arrested on Saturday during the prayer meeting in Glen Norah. The resident priest at the Nazarene church, Paul Mukome, and Pastors Caroline Sanyanga and Paul Isaiah Yesah among others, were arrested when baton wielding police stormed the church and threw choking teargas inside to disperse the worshipers.

Frightened parishioners, among them old women and children, were forced to break through the church windows, trying to escape the menacing police. Many civic organizations and the MDC-T strongly condemned the police action, describing it as barbaric.

SWRadio's Tererai Karimakwenda also reported that the unprofessional and chaotic exhumation of bodies from a disused mine in Mt. Darwin have continued, despite the ruling by a Bulawayo High Court which last week ordered them to stop.

ImageThe case brought by the Zimbabwe African People Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) Veterans Trust, who said they are concerned that exhumations, without forensic experts, were destroying vital clues as to the identity and method of death of the victims.

Fallen Heroes Trust has been exhuming the bodies of what they claim to be victims of liberation war atrocities by the Rhodesian Army. But the bodies displayed on state run television and newspapers have appeared to be from more recent deaths, some with hair still intact and others still dripping fluids.

Zanu (PF) columnist Nathaniel Manheru explained this by saying the mine-shafts had been sealed,, so the bodies had not decomposed because of lack of oxygen. There has been no professional corroboration of this claim.

High Court Judge Nicholas Mathonsi in Bulawayo ordered the Fallen Heroes Trust and their ZANU PF leader, Politburo member George Rutanhire, to stop the controversial project and allow for professional forensic specialists to help identify the deceased and determine how they died, but Zanu (PF) is clearly ignoring the court order.

But the Fallen Heroes Trust seems to be now putting on a macabre show at the mine where the skeletons have been given names and personalities and members of the public, including school children are invited to see how cruel the Rhodesian regime was.

In his haste to get into State House, Mugabe announced a policy of reconciliation and no Rhodesians were prosecuted for the deaths, but now that his party is threatened with its officials are using the macabre show as a violent way of telling Zimbabweans how evil all whites are.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 05:00  

Bhadharai Pano


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