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Madhuku gets ultimatum over claims
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
March 23, 2005

POLICE have given Dr Lovemore Madhuku, the chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), until tomorrow to produce before them evidence of his claims of alleged political violence being committed by members of the uniformed forces.

At a Press conference yesterday, Police Commissioner Cde Augustine Chihuri said failure on Dr Madhuku’s part to bring forward the required evidence would result in legal action being taken against him.

Dr Madhuku was yesterday expected to turn up for the Press conference where he was to produce — as earlier promised — evidence of the allegations made in a report by the NCA titled "Consolidated Election Climate No. 1".

The report — which was released last week to foreign diplomatic missions and the media — made various serious allegations pertaining to the election.

Some of the allegations were that uniformed forces were interfering with the freedom of movement in two constituencies, committed sexual assaults in about seven constituencies, and had made unlawful arrests in 24 constituencies.

Cde Chihuri said the claims made in the NCA report were surprising as there have not been any reports of murders, sexual assaults and forced school closures related to the election.

The police commissioner said if the offences mentioned in the report had taken place and were verifiable, it was the police’s job to bring to book the perpetrators in line with the concept of the rule of law.

Part of the NCA report read: "In view of the large number of allegations of partisan behaviour by the law enforcement and security agencies, there must be immediate and public action by Government to ensure compliance with the law.

"The NCA calls upon Government to ensure that all allegations of partisan behaviour on the part of these agencies are quickly investigated and publicly dealt with through the courts."

Cde Chihuri said it was in this spirit that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had taken the initiative to invite Dr Madhuku to its public relations department at the Police General Headquarters.

Police chief spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena wrote to Dr Madhuku on Monday formally extending the invitation.

"I am kindly inviting you to a Press conference at 1100 hours on March 22 2005 at Police General Headquarters. The Press conference, to which members of the local and international media have been invited, will be held in Room 50. Some election observers have also been invited. The subject for discussion is your report titled ‘Consolidated Election Climate No. 1’," read Asst Comm Bvudzijena’s invitation letter.

He said the unsolicited invitation was to remove any preconception of suspicion and overbearing pressure some people associate with interviews at police stations.

Cde Chihuri also said Dr Madhuku should have been proud to be a valuable witness to the State and associate himself with the ZRP.

He said it was surprising that Dr Madhuku then went on to tell the media that he had been arrested.

"It was explicitly pointed out to him and his lawyer that they were free to walk out of the meeting, but they opted to stay and promised to furnish the ZRP with the cases on which the report is based," he said.

The Commissioner said experience had shown that Dr Madhuku is a deceitful person considering his conviction on 13 charges of theft by conversion involving $3 850 in 1992.

"We, therefore, cannot expect anything better from him except the treacherous deceit contained in his document," he said.

He called on Dr Madhuku to desist from lying to "God, himself, the country, the people of Zimbabwe, the region, Africa and the international community".

"The people of Zimbabwe deserve respect and not to be told blatant lies as contained in the NCA report. Such deceit cannot be allowed to continue for the love of money," Cde Chihuri said.

He also said Dr Madhuku’s claims were meant to give the British media a reason to denounce the election as not free and fair.

Representatives of the NCA who attended yesterday’s Press conference were asked to produce names or evidence arising from the claims in their report, but failed to do so.

Madhuku and his NCA are anti-Zimbabwe and have regularly over the years held illegal demonstrations aimed at seeking the condemnation of Government and police after being arrested.

Last month, Madhuku was awarded a "bravery medal" by a United States-based civic organisation and also presented with US$25 000 for his and the NCA’s relentless demonisation of Government and other State institutions.

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