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ZURA statement on disturbances in Harare
Zimbabwe United Residents Association
February 08, 2011

The Zimbabwe United Residents Association's (ZURA) board, its national membership and technical team are concerned with the disturbances in Harare, in particular in Mbare and the city center. While the perpetrators are known Zanu PF activists it is disheartening that our police have done nothing to defend innocent residents who continue to bear the brunt of organized political violence at the hands of hired militias. At least 200 people have either been displaced from their homes or have been arbitrarily arrested.

The Association is also concerned that the activities of law abiding and rate paying business people are being disturbed all in the name of politics. This comes barely two weeks since a group of marauding Zanu PF activist's invaded Safari lodges along Lake Chivero under the indigenization facade. Prompting, Deputy President Joyce Mujuru to apologize, yet the police have done little to arrest the culprits. Interestingly, behind this indigenization farce is massive looting and primitive accumulation by our national elites. The Association would like to caution that these events are not obviously isolated; they are a reflection of a broader Zanu PF strategy to use intimidation and violence as a means to browbeat residents from participating in national issues. We understand that Zanu PF has begun its campaign for elections in their traditional style. In light of these developments, the Association makes the following demands,

  • The Associations condemns in the strongest terms this culture of lawlessness, impunity and a total disregard of human dignity in our national politics. We condemn the current campaign by Zanu PF to intimidate and harass innocent and defenseless citizens. We thus call upon the Principals in the inclusive government to reign on the chaos and fear that has gripped our communities. Further, we call upon the police to be professional and arrest these militias who have led to over 200 people displaced from their homes.
  • The Association reiterates that Zimbabwe is not yet ready for elections. If at all, the events of the last few days have confirmed this demand. Our country needs fundamental reforms that include repeal of repressive legislature, like POSA, AIPPA among others. The voters roll also needs to be cleaned and the constitutional process concluded before meaningful elections are held.
  • The Portfolio Committee on Defense and Security must compel the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to immediately setup a Commission of Inquiry that must thoroughly investigate the violence and chaos that has gripped our country and report to parliament and the public within two weeks.
  • In light of the above, ZURA calls on SADC the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement, through its mediator President Zuma to immediately arrest the tide of violence; reminiscent of the June 2008 that has gripped our country.
  • That the policies of indigenization and land reform which are noble ideas, be carried out in a non-partisan and transparent manner, and that these policies be coherent with the existing progressive ideals of a democratic developmental state that seeks to genuinely empower its citizens

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