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MDC condemns passage of amendment to Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill
Movement For Democratic Change (MDC)
July 01, 2004

The MDC condemns the recent passage in parliament of the amendment to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill

The Mugabe regime has tried to portray the amendments to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Bill as measures to combat corruption. This is merely a smokescreen. The main intention behind these measures is to introduce a state of emergency type preventative and punitive detention measures. The regime can now detain those calling for legitimate and democratic political change for an effective 23 days without a court being able to grant bail.

These measures are reminiscent of detention laws used by the apartheid regime, as well as the Smith regime. There are no such measures to be found in any other democratic country, including SADC.

What makes the amendments more appalling is that they have been introduced just days after the regime had announced that it was changing some of the electoral laws.

The regime is trying to convey the impression that it is liberalizing the electoral environment and bringing it in line with SADC electoral standards. These new draconian measures expose the regime’s intentions. They want to delude SADC, the people of Zimbabwe and the international community at large into believing that the 2005 elections will be free, fair and a genuine expression of the Zimbabwean people’s will. These measures are a clear indication that the regime has not changed, and has no intention of making genuine and meaningful changes. All it seeks to do is to create a façade of democracy to cover up a harsh dictatorial system.

Paul Themba Nyathi
Secretary for Information and Publicity

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