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  • Inclusive government - Index of articles

  • Arrest of Roy Bennett a practical test for the new Administration
    Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
    February 13, 2009

    Magistrates rules for further detention of Jestina Mukoko at Avenues Clinic

    Harare Magistrate Gloria Takundwa has today 13 February 2009 ruled that the Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko be further detained into the custody of the Avenues Clinic for medical treatment as recommended by a state doctor who said she was very ill. Doctor Makanza said it was necessary that Mukoko be detained at the Avenues Clinic because in his "professional opinion the accused is very ill and warrants admission" to the Clinic. The doctor said he would stand guided by the medical findings of the Avenues Clinic's doctors as to the duration of Mukoko's detention at the private medical institution.

    Yesterday 12 February the director for the Zimbabwe Peace Project Jestina Mukoko, Movement for Democratic change (MDC) Zvimba chairman Fidelis Chiramba and Morgan Tsvangirai's former personal assistant Ghandi Mudzingwa were admitted to the avenues clinic. This was following an order given by Magistrate Gloria Takundwa on 11 February stating that they should be immediately attended to a well equipped hospital to receive medical attention on their fast deteriorating health.

    The hospitalisation of the three comes in the wake of amplified calls for the release of all political prisoners who were abducted on separate occasions since October and later detained on trumped up charges ranging from terrorism, insurgency and banditry. The nation was eagerly waiting for their release from unlawful incarceration at Zimbabwe's dungeons before the swearing in of the Prime Minister Mr Morgan Tsvangirai on 11 February but that has not come to fruition. There is still no end in sight for the prisoners of conscience languishing in the prison cells of Harare.

    Roy Bennett arrest - a practical test of sincerity

    Roy Bennett, The Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate has been arrested today 13 February 2009, charged with treason. He was reportedly abducted at Prince charles airport on his return from self imposed exile in South Africa. This is despite assurances given to MDC before the conclusion of the Inclusive Government that he will be given a safe passage into Zimbabwe. According to an MDC media statement, 200 MDC youths barricaded the Mutare police station demanding his release amidst growing fears that the cabinet member might be transferred to an unknown police stations far from the City. His lawyers are being denied access to the client.

    This happened at the sidelines of the swearing in ceremony of Zimbabwe's 36 ministers at State House in Harare today (13 February 2009) in line with the timetable drawn from the 27 January SADC resolution that an inclusive Government be formed hastily starting with the swearing of the prime minster Morgan Tsvangirai and his two deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Arther Mutambara on 11 February 2009.

    "Roy Bennett must be released unconditionally and unharmed immediately. All state institutions must respect the rule of law, human rights, the spirit and letter of the Global Political Agreement and conduct themselves in such a manner that gives confidence to the inclusive government, so that all parties may be able to attend to the real issues of uplifting the lives of the people of Zimbabwe. The restoration of people's freedoms, human rights and democratisation are some of the basic deliverables of the Inclusive government. This theatre of absurdity must end." Media Statement released by the MDC: 21:30

    ROHR Zimbabwe is perturbed by the flagrant exhibition of the political immaturity and lack of sincerity on the part of ZANU PF who stand to benefit from this deal more than any other party. Day 1 of Morgan Tsvangirai in office, ZANU PF stands to mock his commitment and efforts into making the Coalition Government to work for all parties involved. These developments and the continued incarceration of political prisoners in prison cells despite Tsvangirai's visit at the cells are a blow to Tsvangirai's administration since the release of the above was, according to MDC, a prerequisite to joining the Government

    The arrest of the Minister renders a mockery of President Kgalema Motlanthe's call for the removal of targeted sanctions against the Government.

    "Allow me also to use this momentous occasion to reiterate our call on the United States government, United Kingdom and other European Union governments to immediately lift sanctions against Zimbabwe to facilitate the flow of aid to the country," Motlanthe said

    Mugabe still stands to convince the international community that he is really committed to real power sharing. United States and European Union countries are still skeptical of the deal and the continued stifling of civil and political rights such as these stand to harden the resolve that nothing has changed so far.

    "Until the government of Zimbabwe could convince us that there were going to be free and fair elections, and at the same time that there was going to be the removal of repressive legislation ... until these things happened, we could not treat Zimbabwe as if it was an ordinary country," Gordon Brown, Britain's prime minister, said.

    Although the nation is hopeful and expectant, the behaviour of the state compounds the underlying fears in people that the inclusive government may be nothing more but a continuation of a modified version of ZANU PF's dictatorship.

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