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preaches peace and hints at elections as ZANU PF supporters assault
councillor and journalist
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 06, 2011
Mugabe on Tuesday 6 September 2011 preached peace for the second
time in less than one month but the conduct of some of his supporters
left his sincerity questionable.
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party on Tuesday assaulted
a Harare City Councillor, Victor Chifodya and a freelance journalist,
Henry Chimbiri as the octogenarian leader opened a session of parliament.
the fourth session of the seventh Parliament
of Zimbabwe and denounced violence in his speech which was broadcast
on national television.
But while President
Mugabe was preaching peace, supporters of his ZANU PF party attacked
Councillor Chifodya, the chief whip for Harare City Councillors
was attacked at the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Sam Nujoma
Street in central Harare while on his way to Parliament to attend
proceedings in Parliament where he was an invited guest. Chimbiri
was filming the arrival of President Mugabe to address Parliament.
sustained a deep cut on his head and is currently receiving medical
assistance at a local health institution while Chimbiri sustained
injuries leading to a bleeding nose. Chimbiri had by late Tuesday
not recovered his video camera.
This is the
second time in less than two months that ZANU PF supporters have
unleashed violence in the environs of Parliament.
23 July 2011, ZANU PF supporters disrupted a public hearing organized
by the Joint Committee of the House of Assembly Portfolio Committee
on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
and the Senate Thematic Committee on Human Rights at Parliament
to solicit people's views on the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) Bill.
ZANU PF supporters verbally abused and assaulted Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC-T) Member of Parliament for Hwange Central, Hon. Brian
Tshuma for allegedly not singing the anthem and turned their inexplicable
anger and violence on journalists from the private media, including
Levi Mukarate of The Financial Gazette and Nqaba Matshazi of The
Standard and Aaron Ufumeli of NewsDay, who were covering the hearing.
his address to Parliament, President Mugabe hinted at imminent plans
to hold elections saying bickering parties to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) had "now agreed on key milestones
and timelines in preparation for the holding of national elections."
He said the
Referendum Bill together with the Electoral
Act agreed to by the GPA negotiators and adopted by the coalition
government's Cabinet will soon be tabled before Parliament
as part of preparations to hold elections.
denounced violence appealed to legislators to preach messages of
national healing and reconciliation in their constituencies.
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