Zimbabwe Violence Rose in February, Peace Monitoring Group Says
By Brian Latham
Politically motivated violence directed mainly at Zimbabwe’s Movement for
Democratic Change party rose in February, the Zimbabwe Peace Project said in
an e- mailed statement today.
About 800 cases of violence were recorded by the group, which monitors human
rights in the southern African nation. The ZPP didn’t say how many cases of
violence were recorded in January.
“The increase can be directly related to rising political tension as a
result of the move to push for elections this year,” the ZPP said.
President Robert Mugabe, who leads the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front party, has repeatedly called for elections this year
to end a power sharing agreement with the MDC in place since 2009.
Calls to Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo weren’t answered when Bloomberg News
sought comment today.
MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said in a telephone interview from Harare
that his party had received increased complaints of violence against MDC
supporters, as well as the withholding of emergency food rations.
“Reports of violence continue, as well as the withholding of food in
drought-stricken areas, and that’s a form of violence in itself,” Mwonzora
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and the MDC, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have
shared power since 2009, when the Southern African Development Community
said elections in 2008 didn’t meet regional standards of fairness.
Presidential and parliamentary elections in March 2008 led to the murder of
about 200 MDC supporters, the party says.
Under the SADC-brokered agreement now in place, Zimbabwe can’t hold
elections until a new constitution has been approved by a national
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