ZANU must respect rule of law: U.S.
The United States on Thursday called on Zimbabwean authorities and members of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party to respect the rule of law following reports of violence and other abuses.
“The US is concerned about persistent reports of harassment, targeting, and heavy handed tactics used by police officers in arresting civil society activists,” the US embassy said in a statement.
The statement came amid reports that a villager was beaten to death by police who accused him of illegal diamond mining and of new claims of attacks by pro-Mugabe militants from his Zanu PF party.
“The unrestrained show of violence and extortion along political lines… fosters an unacceptable environment of fear and intimidation that will only perpetuate violence and undermine the peace and stability which the police are sworn to protect,” the statement said.
It urged police and the judiciary use the law to end the violence, saying a failure to act could indicate “the police force and prosecutors as serving the interests of that party (Zanu PF), rather than the Zimbabwean people or the state.”
“The United States calls on the Zanu PF leadership to insist that party members and supporters abide strictly by the laws of the country and to hold accountable those members who violate President Mugabe’s directive against violence,” the statement said.
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are in a unity government formed in February 2009, following failed elections marred by violence that left more than 200 dead, mainly supporters of Tsvangirai.
The two leaders have both publicly, condemned violence in the country.
The partners in a shaky power-sharing government have failed to reach common ground in talks to set guidelines for fresh elections and implement a raft of political reforms agreed to in the pact, which gave birth to the unity government.