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  • SADC mediated talks between ZANU (PF) and MDC - Index of articles

  • Crisis meeting branded PR stunt as violence threatens talks
    Lance Guma, SW Radio Africa
    October 22, 2007

    The MDC have dismissed as a publicity stunt an invitation by Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi to discuss their claims of escalating state sponsored violence. Party spokesman Nelson Chamisa told Newsreel it was ridiculous for the perpetrators of violence to invite the victims for a meeting. He also said it was incorrect for the state media to allege that MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai had been summoned to a meeting by Mohadi, when in fact the minister invited the party in general to send representatives. The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday morning at Mohadi's Harare office.

    Earlier in the week the opposition threatened to pull out of mediation talks if Zanu PF continued its nationwide violent clampdown on MDC activists. The MDC say the violence is against the spirit of the dialogue currently taking place and the police should, 'act professionally and prove on the ground that they are not an appendage of Zanu PF.'
    Chamisa said, 'the question of dialogue should not just end in Pretoria, it should not be summertime in Pretoria when it continues to be winter here in Zimbabwe.' He said people on the ground should feel the benefits of the dialogue and this would help build confidence in the process.

    Worried by the potential fallout of an MDC withdrawal from the talks, Mugabe's regime responded with a propaganda offensive to try and appear concerned about the violence. This is the context in which the MDC is viewing the meeting. Chamisa argued it would have made more sense for the minister to summon the various provincial police chiefs to explain the violence in their areas, than to request a meeting with the victims. He said although they will send party representatives to give evidence, those attending the meeting will not be lectured to by Mohadi.

    Meanwhile 6 MDC youths were arrested in Bindura after a party youth forum meeting on Sunday. Taedza Muputa, Archibald Ncube, Meleni Mudende, Innocent Chikaya and Keddie Magoda were still in detention late Monday. It was not yet clear what charges they are facing.

    The party was busy arranging legal representations on Monday.

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