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Zimbabwe: Prove violence claims - Govt
Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2008

By Mabasa Sasa
April 22, 2008
The Herald

GOVERNMENT has challenged anyone with information demonstrating that acts of State-sponsored violence have characterised the post-election period to furnish the police with details to facilitate full investigations.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa yesterday said at a Press conference it was possible that the opposition MDC-T was behind the cases of politically motivated violence as part of a propaganda campaign to justify international intervention in the country.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena also dismissed claims that 10 people had been killed in post-election political violence, saying three of the four names given to the police yielded no results while one case was being investigated.

"It is being said that 10 people have been killed. Four names were given. I have personally investigated these cases. Of those four, three have no basis whatsoever while the fourth is still under investigation and will be concluded soon.

"It is unfortunate that these reports of violence are only surfacing on the Internet with no formal reports being made. We respond to information supplied to us by the public and we have nothing to hide," Asst Comm Bvudzijena said.

Cde Chinamasa said they could not put anything beyond the MDC-T because its officials were gallivanting all over the world lying through their teeth that there is genocide in Zimbabwe and that the country was in a state of war.

He said they were at the forefront of accusing Zanu-PF of rigging the elections and yet it was clear that they were the ones who had rigged.

"Now they are saying that we are sponsoring acts of politically motivated violence and anyone will be forgiven for thinking that they are the ones who are fomenting genocide in Zimbabwe," he said.

Cde Chinamasa also said the police were arresting and would continue to arrest anyone suspected of committing crimes and solid cases would be taken to the courts.

"If anyone has information they should approach the police and furnish them with the details so that full investigations are instituted. Why go to the media and splash unsubstantiated pictures and stories. For your own information, some of those pictures being carried by the media date back to 2000. At present we are not aware of any such violence," he said.

The police, Cde Chinamasa said, arrest people regardless of their political affiliation.

"When a crime is committed the police do not ask what party the perpetrator belongs to. They just make an arrest. So if you believe that political violence has taken place go to the police."

Cde Chinamasa, who also chairs Zanu-PF's information sub-committee, said the MDC-T had a long history of claiming any dead people to be their supporters who had been murdered by the State.

"They have this macabre tendency to claim dead bodies. Even people who have died of natural causes are adopted by the MDC-T and the cause of death is subsequently attributed to State-sponsored violence. I refute completely that people are dying because of political violence," he said.

"People should ask the MDC to give the names, addresses and other details of those it says have been killed. This is a lie that has no basis whose only aim is to achieve international intervention. It is all part of a scheme to undermine the country, President Mugabe and our processes. But the rule of law is being observed and will continue to be observed," he said.

Cde Chinamasa said the MDC-T should desist from agitating for war because Zanu-PF does not want war but would use its resilience to weather any such outcome.

Last year Home Affairs Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi challenged the opposition and its civil society sympathisers to come forward with information on alleged State-sponsored political violence to facilitate investigations but they failed to do so.

On the issue of the vote recount in 23 constituencies, Cde Chinamasa said it was hypocritical for the MDC-T to oppose the process when they too had appealed against the results in two House of Assembly races.

He said Zanu-PF requested recounts in 21 constituencies while the MDC-T requested recounts in the other two constituencies. The electoral law, Cde Chinamasa said, made it clear that any stakeholder can ask for a recount within 48 hours of an election as was agreed by both Zanu-PF and the opposition during the Sadc-brokered dialogue.

"Now they are saying we should not exercise our legal rights and yet they can. Those are the surprises you find in politics. People aren't honest and they prefer to play to the gallery. They want to lie through their teeth, but lying isn't a crime so they do it with impunity."

Cde Chinamasa said they were happy with the manner in which recounts were being conducted and urged the nation to continue to be patient so that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission could do its work professionally and independently as it had been doing all along.


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