The recent attack on Trudy Stevenson, a Movement for Democratic Change, or M-D-C, member of parliament, is a reminder of the violence that has stalked Zimbabwean politics in recent years. The U.S. endorses the investigation by the M-D-C of this violent act and calls for an investigation by the government as well.
Standards of political conduct in Zimbabwe have been eroded by years of organized assaults on opposition figures, the independent media, judges, and civil society. The moral rot is deepest in the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, which has been responsible for the vast majority of the offenses. Few, if any, of the perpetrators of these acts were ever punished.
A recent report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Nongovernmental Forum says that there is widespread evidence of human rights abuses by the government of Zimbabwe, headed by President Robert Mugabe. According to the Forum, since July 2001, more than fifteen thousand cases of organized violence and torture have been reported in Zimbabwe.
Most of the perpetrators, says the report, are the Zimbabwean police......