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of Roy Bennett a practical test for the new Administration
Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR)
February 13, 2009
rules for further detention of Jestina Mukoko at Avenues Clinic
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
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.
Bennett arrest - a practical test of sincerity
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:
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 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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