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that encourages violations of human rights
Comment, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
October 29, 2006
Mugabe’s recent encouragement to the police to deal decisively with
Zimbabweans protesting against his government, the reluctance of
the police to arrest supporters of the ruling party implicated in
the murder of opposition political activists and last weekend’s
destruction of MDC supporters’ houses in Chitungwiza and Mabvuku
confirm a pattern of impunity that has fuelled human rights violations
the houses of MDC supporters were destroyed in what the opposition
suspects were attacks by Zanu PF intended to send shivers down their
spines ahead of yesterday’s rural district council elections.
While in the
past presidential powers of amnesty have been used to protect perpetrators
of the most heinous crimes against the people of Zimbabwe, in recent
years the government has, however, ignored calls for the prosecution
of those responsible for torture, abductions and political killings.
High Court Judge,
Justice James Devittie ordered that Joseph Mwale and Kainos Tom
"Kitsiyatota" Zimunya appear in court by 26 March 2001 to give evidence
in the case involving the killings of two MDC activists, but neither
appeared in court although police served summons on them. There
was no further action by the police, who claimed they could not
Mwale is employed
by the Central Intelligence Organisation and is now believed to
be in Nyanga after having worked in Chimanimani where he led a campaign
to purge the area of opposition activists. At the beginning of October
the Office of the Attorney-General ordered the police to arrest
Mwale. He is still a free man. There is a definite deliberate attempt
by the state to subvert the course of justice.
The people responsible
for the "disappearance" of Patrick Nabanyama, a polling agent for
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the June
2000 Parliamentary elections are free men –thanks to their membership
of the ruling party.
Kufa Chitoro, the Mberengwa district chairman of the war veterans'
association as well as a senior Zanu PF provincial official, was
identified in legal proceedings as the leader of the ''militia''
operating in the Mberengwa West area near Mataga.
in a High Court petition challenging the election in June 2000 of
Joram Gumbo as the MP for Mberengwa West, told the court that Chitoro,
based at a ''militia'' camp at the Texas Ranch farm, co-ordinated
a terror campaign against the opposition in the district.
''militia'' members on 4 June 2000 when they abducted James and
Fainos Zhou from their home in Danga, near Mataga. Fainos died from
internal injuries on 9 June 2000 following a brutal assault.
On 6 October
2000 an amnesty was issued and the prosecution of Chitoro and the
three other alleged accomplices, on charges of kidnapping and assault
Then there is
the case of David Stevens, the first commercial farmer to be killed
in the wave of political violence following the chaotic land invasions.
Stevens was executed by being shot in the face. No one has been
brought to justice in connection with the murder.
It is because
of such cases that there are growing calls for Mugabe to be brought
before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
If Mugabe wanted these crimes against humanity to cease and ordered
an end to the torture and murders, the culprits would have. And
if he cared for justice, the law would have been allowed to run
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