Monday, August 03, 2009

Mugabe in "bid to wreck Unity"

from the UK Guardian

Zimbabwe is on the verge of a new political crisis, amid growing evidence that President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has launched a strategy to wipe out the former opposition's slim parliamentary majority.

The campaign has in the past few days seen MPs for the Movement for Democratic Change arrested for offences including playing music that "denigrates" Mugabe, and stealing a mobile phone. Fourteen MDC MPs and senators are facing charges ranging from corruption to rape. If convicted, they will lose their seats, forcing by-elections. Less than six months after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister, the strategy again raises questions about the role of the country's courts and police...

But grassroots MPs warn the inclusive government is close to collapse. They say Zanu-PF, backed by the police and army, is deploying divide-and-rule tactics, from parliament and the senate, right down to grain distribution in rural areas. Trevor Saruwaka, a 34-year-old MDC MP for Mutasa Central is facing separate prosecutions for rape and assault, both of which he denies. "There is a pattern to the prosecutions. I am one of seven MDC politicians targeted in Manicaland - the birthplace of Zimbabwean freedom leaders. If Zanu-PF kill the spirit in Manicaland they believe they can kill the spirit of all Zimbabweans.

and then there is this:

Yesterday, many Zimbabweans were outraged after a court in Chivhu imposed a fine of just US$200 (£120) on Chinoona Mwanda - who had been found guilty of culpable homicide, after the 6 March incident when his lorry swerved into the path of Tsvangirai's car, killing Susan, his wife of 31 years.

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