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- 36-CL/175/11(a)-R.2

Geneva, 1st October 2004

meeting and had been asked to leave.  Ms. Khupe, who was a member of the Zimbabwe delegation in Mexico, told the Committee that Ms. Masaiti wanted to attend a meeting which the Minister of Gender, Youth and Employment had organised in her constituency; she was, however, chased away.  

2.On 22 April 2004, the MDC reported that ZANU-PF supporters and soldiers had taken over all assets on Mr. Roy Bennett’s farm, including his house, vehicles and petrol reserves.  They were reportedly slaughtering the cattle, sheep and chicken and using the vehicles to transport ZANU-PF supporters to independence celebrations and to mobilise ZANU-PF supporters to chose their candidate in the primary elections.    

3.Contempt of the House proceedings have reportedly been instituted against Mr. Chaibva for statements he made regarding the youth training centers.  

F.CONCLUDING REMARKS

1.The delegation wishes first of all to recall that the mission concerned 28 members of the opposition MDC who were all arrested and detained for differing periods of time.  Some of them were charged and taken to court; some were reportedly ill-treated in detention; some were attacked personally by non-State agents, or their families or property were attacked.  The IPU Governing Council and the Committee feared therefore that this denoted a pattern of systematic harassment of the political opposition.

2.The delegation notes that in the June 2000 elections the MDC gained 57 seats of the 120 elected seats, five less than ZANU-PF.  At a time when all power was in the hands of ZANU-PF, almost half the electorate had thus voted for the MDC candidates and entrusted the elected MPs with their representation in Parliament.  No complaint for fraud has been lodged against the MDC.  It goes without saying that in a democracy the will of the electors must be respected just as that of their elected representatives must be.  The delegation is therefore deeply disturbed to note that statements made to it by the government authorities and police suggest that this is not the case inasmuch as there is a general tendency to demonise the political opposition.   

3.The delegation notes that at no time has a complaint been lodged as to any unlawful funding of the MDC, nor have judicial or other procedures been instituted against the Party on such grounds.  Raising this question now can therefore only be understood as an attempt to discredit the MDC.  

4.The government authorities and the police representatives have repeatedly insisted that the MDC has resorted to violence, and have portrayed the Party as an organisation aiming to overthrow the Government by violent means.  The delegation wishes to make the following observations on this point:

4.1.According to the authorities, Zimbabwe has a history of violent political struggle.  Indeed, violent speeches and action appeared to the delegation to be constant features of the country’s political life.  The delegation does not consider the statements of Mr. Tsvangirai and Mr. Mhashu which it was shown as evidence of MDC violence to be more extreme than statements of the authorities and ZANU-PF leaders as quoted in the official media.  

4.2.The official crime register referred to under D.3.2. suggests that the MDC does not resort to greater violence than the majority party.  The contrary would appear to be the case.  The register shows that a significantly lower number of the cases of violence are attributed to the MDC (417 MDC cases compared to 784 ZANU-PF cases for the three periods referred to in the register).  

4.3.In order to demonstrate the violent nature of the MDC and its elected MPs, the Commissioner of Police and other authorities drew attention to the treason charges brought against the MDC party leadership, and the Limukani Luphala and Cain Nkala murder case.  As the delegation noted during its mission, this attitude is echoed in the press.  However, in the treason case, Prof. Welshman Ncube and Mr. Renson Gansela were acquitted back in August 2003.  In the case of Mr. Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the Judge had concluded on 2 March 2004, before the visit, that the prosecution evidence against him and others was entirely fabricated.  The prosecution thus no longer has a case against him.  Quoting these cases as evidence of violence on the part of MDC MPs can therefore only be seen as disregarding court rulings in an attempt to discredit the political opposition.

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