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debunks charges of plotting to violently oust Mugabe
Brendon Tulani, ZimOnline
August 23, 2007
HARARE - The
Human Rights NGO Forum on Wednesday released a dossier
of evidence it said was meant to disprove claims by the police
that opposition parties and civic groups were conniving to violently
overthrow President Mugabe's government.
The Forum said it planned
to present the 28-page dossier to South African President Thabo
Mbeki, who was last March appointed by Southern African Development
Community (SADC) leaders to mediate in Zimbabwe's political crisis.
The Forum, which is a
coalition of 17 of the biggest human rights and pro-democracy groups
in the country, claims the bulk of political events listed in two
recent police reports as "criminal activities" were in
fact genuine political or civic activities held by the opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and non-governmental
Noel Kututwa told journalists in Harare that the police reports
were "internally contradictory, inherently implausible and
manifestly false in many instances."
The ZRP recently
issued two reports "Opposition
Forces in Zimbabwe: A Trial of Violence" and "Opposition
Forces in Zimbabwe: The Naked Truth" which were used by
Mugabe to justify a crackdown against the MDC claiming the opposition
party wanted to illegally topple his government.
Police compiled the reports
to justify the brutal assault of main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai,
and many of his supporters on March 11 when police broke up a prayer
rally in the Harare's Highfield suburb. The assault received worldwide
The Forum says in its
dossier that the role of opposition parties in any democracy was
to seek regime change but that the Zimbabwe government had sought
to wrongfully criminalise this valid role of the opposition.
"In Zimbabwe, the
state-controlled media has repeatedly accused opposition of regime
change . . . turning the phrase to imply something inherently criminal,"
reads part of the Forum's report.
the reports by the police claiming the opposition and civic groups
were colluding to overthrow the government had naively revealed
the politicisation of the police and the use of state resources
for party political purposes.
violence and human rights abuses - mostly blamed on state agents
- have become routine in Zimbabwe since the emergence in 1999 of
the MDC as the most potent electoral threat to Mugabe and ZANU PF's
stranglehold on power. - ZimOnline
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