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CHOGM calls for genuine democratic reforms in Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe Coalition
November 02, 2011
The recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which
was opened on Friday the 28th of October 2011 and ended on the 30th
on Perth, Australia has maintained
that until genuine democracy through transparent electoral processes
is restored, Zimbabwe would remain suspended from the body. It reiterated
that the Commonwealth is ready to re-engage Zimbabwe only if the
government of Zimbabwe introduces democratic reforms, uphold human
rights and bring an end to politically motivated violence which
has taken precedence in the country.
two years since the consummation of the inclusive
government in February 2009 and Zimbabwe is still lagging behind
in implementing genuine democratic reforms. Citizens are continually
subjected to intimidation, violence and torture while their freedoms
have been drastically curtailed. Recently the Electoral
Amendment Bill public hearings which were held across the country
were characterised by violence and intimidation.
and media practitioners continually face arbitrary arrests and victimisation
under the country's repressive media laws whilst the responsible
Minister has become more of a Minister of entertainment by ignoring
these issues and choosing to concentrate on producing praise songs
for Mugabe, representing ZANU PF at live music shows and trying
to boost the party's political mileage by frequenting apostolic
church gatherings and celebrity funerals.
year, police arrested a total of 28 MDC member falsely
accusing them of murdering a police officer in Glen View. Police
Inspector Petros Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers in a local
nightclub in Glenview in May this year. This is despite evidence
that many of them were not even on the crime vicinity on the day
in question. Eight out of the 28 MDC members arrested for the incident
are still languishing in remand prison while the police and the
Attorney General's Office continue to drag their feet on the
case. In yet another case, Munyaradzi Gwisai , a former MDC Parliamentarian
and Coordinator of the International
Socialist Orgnisation (ISO) Zimbabwe Chapter, was arrested
with 44 other human rights defenders at a gathering at Cross
Roads House in Harare and charged with treason. The 45 were attending
an academic discussion under the theme "Revolt in Egypt and
Tunisia. What lessons can be learnt by Zimbabwe and Africa."
01 November 2011, 36 police officers stormed
the MDC Headquarters, (Harvest House) for unknown reasons causing
mayhem in town as they allegedly threw teargas and assaulted people.
The policemen also blocked Nelson Mandela Avenue to traffic and
members of the public armed with button sticks and AK 47 rifles.
Barely a week before, the police had blocked and disrupted MDC-T
rallies and meetings in Victora Falls and Hatcliffe. It is alleged
that the police's appearance at the MDC-T's rallies
was not motivated by the need to maintain order but to allegedly
complement ZANUPF thugs' efforts in disrupting and perpetrating
violence at MDC rallies and meetings.
not been taking part in Commonwealth activities after ZANU PF, the
then ruling party, unilaterally pulled the country from the grouping
on the 7th December 2003 following the government sponsored violent
invasion of farms by war veterans in 2000. The Commonwealth Ministerial
Action Group and Zimbabwe agreed that the Zimbabwean government
would stop the violence on farms, prevent further invasions, uphold
human rights and stop suppressing dissent voices.
implores the inclusive government to ensure that credible democratic
and electoral reforms are put in place before elections. The Coalition
further condemns state sponsored violence intimidation and calls
for the police to act professionally and fulfil their constitutional
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