The United States of America says security forces, police and Zanu PF-dominated elements of the government have continued to commit serious human rights abuses due to the party’s dominant control.
The US also says political processes have effectively negated the citizens’ right to change their own government.
In a briefing accompanying the State Department Bureau of Democracy and Human Rights 2010 Report released on April 8, the State Department noted that despite the inauguration of a unity government between MDC mainstream leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the Welshman Ncube-led MDC faction and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF which lost the 2008 elections, the Zanu PF faction has continued to use its over-bearing influence and paramilitary forces to intimidate and commit human rights abuses against members and supporters of other political parties.
“Security forces, police, and Zanu-PF-dominated elements of the government continued to commit numerous, serious human rights abuses.
“Zanu-PF’s dominant control and manipulation of the political process through trumped-up charges, arbitrary arrests, intimidation, and corruption effectively negated the right of citizens to change their government.
“There were no politically motivated killings by government agents during the year; however, security forces continued to torture, beat, and abuse non-Zanu-PF political activists and party members, student leaders, and civil society activists with impunity,” the report reads in part.
The report said projections of an early election in 2011 have already led to a serious escalation in the harassment and intimidation of rights activists.
“Security forces, which regularly acted with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and detained political activists not associated with Zanu-PF, members of civil society, labour leaders, journalists, demonstrators, and religious leaders; lengthy pretrial detention was a problem.
“Executive influence and interference in the judiciary continued, and the government infringed on citizens’ privacy rights. The government continued to use repressive laws to suppress freedom of speech, Press, assembly, association, and movement,” reads part of the summary report.
The report also accused the Zimbabwean government of restricting academic freedom with the arrest of high-ranking government officials and the making of numerous public threats of violence against demonstrators and political activists who are not associated with Zanu-PF.
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