Sadc Gets ‘dossier’ On Violence

CIVIL society organisations in Zimbabwe this week submitted a dossier to Sadc detailing alleged state-sponsored violence against hundreds of opposition supporters since the March 29 elections.

The dossier was handed to Sadc Observer Mission head José Marcos Barrica and the director of the regional bloc’s organ on politics, defence and security, Tanki Mothaey, on Tuesday.

It contains photographs of injuries sustained by victims of the violence and affidavits they wrote to vouch for the alleged torture at the hands of state security agents, Zanu PF militia and war veterans.

The photos showed victims’crushed hands and legs, broken arms, haematomas of buttocks, missing teeth and other bodily harm.

In a report released by civil society, Barrica — Angola’s Sport and Youth minister — condemned political violence, adding that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should not hold Zimbabweans hostage by failing to announce the presidential election outcome and stretching the recount of votes in 23 constituencies longer than anticipated.

“The minister said that it was necessary to look for ways and means to end the suffering of the people,” the report said.

“Some people would speak about the necessity of a military intervention. Others would ask for a violent uprising.

Some politicians were speaking about a war.”

Barrica, however, stressed to civil society that the objective was to ensure that no war situation would arise in Zimbabwe.

Civil society representatives at the meeting claimed that Zimbabwe was now in a “war situation”.

“The civil society organisation representative pointed out that it was not a question of observing elections any more, but that it was a question of peacekeeping,” the report said.

It was suggested during the meeting that Sadc should not be limited to election observation, but would have to find a way of stopping and preventing the violence in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has appealed to the international community to press the Zimbabwe government to meet its five demands.

The opposition party wants the government to immediately demilitarise the country by withdrawing the army and other security agents from townships, villages and farms and the police should conduct its duties in a non-partisan manner and arrest all perpetrators of politically motivated violence without fear or favour.

The MDC also wants Zanu PF to immediately stop its campaign of violence and says the government should allow non-governmental organisations to conduct their humanitarian activities without interference.

The party demanded the immediate release of the presidential election results by the ZEC and that Mugabe should concede defeat to Morgan Tsvangirai.

By Lucia Makamure