Political violence rocks Epworth
Written by Bridget Mananavire and Lloyd Mbiba
Monday, 04 June 2012 12:22
HARARE - Ugly scenes of political violence in the poor peri-urban settlement
of Epworth reflect how Zimbabwe is precariously on the edge, as President
Robert Mugabe pushes hard for elections this year.
Reports of violence flaring in some parts of the country have increased in
recent weeks. But mass displacements in Epworth, which is on the outskirts
of Harare, are a clear sign of how deep levels of political intolerance are
Zanu PF youths this week wreaked havoc in the volatile settlement, forcibly
displacing residents suspected of being MDC supporters.
Menacing youths were taking over residential stands and properties belonging
to the suspected MDC supporters when the Daily News crew visited the area
Women and children could be seen sitting out in the cold as the youths took
over their shelter and farm land.
More than 100 residents affected by the evictions had grouped at an open
ground fearing for their lives.
A tense atmosphere pervaded the area as a number of menacing youths milled
According to residents who spoke to the Daily News, the “rowdy” youths
intensified the evictions before the intervention of Epworth police after a
local joint MDC- Zanu PF peace committee reported the matter.
One of the victims, who alleged that her husband was killed by Zanu PF
activists in 2001, said residents abandoned their homes last week in fear of
being killed by the youths.
“We are not in our homes because we are afraid. They are coming into our
homes and taking our land,” said Hlengiwe Ngubane.
The land in question belongs to the Methodist Church, according to
residents, who said the Zanu PF youths were claiming that “Methodists did
not come with land from Britain”.
Zimbabwe police fire tear gas at protesters
By ANGUS SHAW, Associated Press – 6 hours ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Police fired tear gas to disperse supporters of the
Zimbabwe prime minister's party outside a courthouse on Monday, witnesses
About 200 demonstrators gathered outside the High Court in downtown Harare
to protest charges being brought against 29 activists of the former
opposition appearing there for a bail hearing. The activists are seeking
bail on charges of murdering a police officer a year ago.
Protesters also scuffled with police, witnesses said. There were no
immediate reports of injuries or arrests.
The detained suspects are accused of killing a policeman outside a bar in
western Harare in May 2011. Repeated demands for bail have been refused.
The activists have denied the murder charges and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's party insists police inspector Petros Mutedza, 45, died in a
turf war between street vendors in Harare's Glen View township.
In March, seven policemen were granted $50 bail each just one month after
their arrest over the murder of a mine worker north of Harare.
The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused the court that
freed the policeman of bias.
Several people were injured when the police raided a settlement at a mine
near Shamva, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Harare, during an investigation
into the alleged theft of $1 and a cell phone from the wife of one officer.
Violence on the increase: CHRA
Violence is on the increase and most of it is politically motivated, a
recent survey by the Combined Harare Residents Association has found.
by Staff Reporter
“Zanu (PF) is still holding on to council premises, from which council is
supposed to be earning rent. But all the money is being pocketed by the
party’s youth militia. Only a quarter of business operators in Mbare pay the
monthly service charges. Most operators who do not sympathize with Zanu (PF)
have been chased away from Magaba, Siyaso, Mupedzanhamo and Masimbi,” says
CHRA reported previously that Mbare market stalls have been turned into Zanu
(PF) districts, with regular party meetings being held and funds collected.
Now it says the party has penetrated residential areas.
“A classic example is Carter House which was violently seized by Chipangano
and currently houses more than 20 youth militia. Efforts by council to
regain the property have on several occasions proved to be bloody, as these
youths can simply unleash violence without fear of consequences,” says the
It adds that “about 87.5% of residents who were knowledgeable of national
institutions like JOMIC and the organ on national healing said these bodies
had failed to mitigate violence”. Research found that residents were still
being coerced to attend Zanu (PF) rallies and those who refuse to do so are
marked for retribution.
Residents have called on the government to address the operations of the
police force “because statements alone will not put to end violence”.
Political haggling blocks human rights bill
Haggling between Zanu (PF) and MDC-T over the content and scope of the Human
Rights Bill is the major stumbling block to the activation of the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission, The Zimbabwean has established.
by Tapiwa Zivira
Touted as the solution to the country’s bad human rights record, ZHRC is yet
to start functioning, two years after the swearing in of its commissioners.
Parliament is finding it difficult to pass the Human Rights Bill that would
give the ZHRC the legal mandate to investigate human rights abuses because
of persistent differences between the two major political parties.
The ZHRC is a provision of the Global Political Agreement, established by
Section 100R of the Constitution Amendment 19, of 2009.
UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, who visited Zimbabwe last week to assess
the rights situation in the country expressed serious concerns about the
commission and urged that it should start working ahead of the next
She joins the long list of local, regional and international human rights
advocates who have called on the inclusive government to speed up the
implementation of all provisions of the GPA.
Zimbabwe’s polls have become synonymous with political violence and the
commission is regarded as a crucial tool to address past violations and
ensure the avoidance of future abuses.
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa last Friday claimed at
a press conference that MDC-T was frustrating the Bill.
“Last year we, including the two MDCs, agreed on all the issues to be
incorporated into the bill but the MDC parliamentary caucus opposes it every
time I present it in Parliament,” said Chinamasa.
He said it had been agreed that the Commission would only deal with human
rights issues relating ‘‘to the present and future’’. Those pertaining to
the period before the GNU coalition government in 2009 ‘‘will have to be
dealt with through another mechanism’’.
Political Murder, barely 24 hours after UN Envoy's departure
Six people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Cephas
Magura, Chairperson for ward 1 Mudzi North. The deceased aged 58 was
severely assaulted at Chimukoko Business Centre on Saturday 26 May 2012 at
around 12pm. He was hit by a stone on the head and fell on the ground and
was severely assaulted by ZANU PF youth who had come to disrupt the rally.
The rally was disrupted just 30 minutes after it started.
by Heal Zimbabwe
It is reported that close to one hundred MDC supporters had gathered at
Chimukoko Business centre for a rally which was sanctioned by the police.
Heal Zimbabwe applaud the police for arresting the six perpetrators but
questions emerge on why the police failed to calm the situation at a rally
that was sanctioned. A sanctioned rally is supposed to have members of the
police to monitor and make sure the rally is peaceful, it was the police’s
duty to protect the victim from the hooligans. It is the responsibility of
the police to protect people from violence regardless of their political
affiliation. The MDC by informing the police means they wanted a peaceful
rally with no disruptions.
Mr. Chikuna who was part of those who attended the rally narrated that
ZANU-PF supporters came and started singing at the same venue they were
having their rally. He states that the violent youth started singing their
party songs and started attacking the people who were at the rally. The MDC
supporters responded by fleeing the venue but the youth pursued them and in
the process hit Mr. Mugura with a stone on the head and he died on the spot.
Six other MDC supporters were assaulted and are still receiving treatment at
a hospital in Harare.
The post mortem results indicate that the late Mr. Mugura was hit on the
head with a blunt object and assaulted all over his body. Mourners are
gathered at Dotso Village, Goronga, Mudzi. The deceased will be laid to rest
on Saturday, 2 June 2012.
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