Monday, February 19, 2007

David Coltart on the state's disregard of law

David Coltart, the MDC shadow justice minister and a reknowned human rights lawyer in his own right issued this statement in the aftermath of last weekend's unpardonable incident in Highfield. At least three people are feared dead and over a 100 MDC supporters were arrested Sunday as Zimbabwe's brutal police quashed a court sanctioned rally by the opposition party. The MDC won the right to have rally late on Friday night in the High Court but the court order did not prevent the police from arming their anti-riot tankers imported from Israel and using them on poor unarmed Zimbabweans.

Here is Coltart's statement.

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  • Chamisa: Zanu PF, police fire teargas, live ammunition at MDC supporters

    Highfield resembled a ghost town following running battles between unarmed MDC supporters and armed riot police. The police, who had defied a High Court order, cordoned off the venue of the MDC rally and went on the rampage in the High density suburb of Highfield in Harare.

    Despite a High Court order preventing the police from interfering with the MDC rally to launch its Presidential campaign at Zimbabwe grounds in Highfield, Harare, armed riot police sealed off the venue and patrolled the streets of Highfield indiscriminately firing live ammunition, teargas and water cannons in the tranquil environment around Machipisa shopping centre.

    When the crowd became agitated, the over 50 000-strong crowd that had turned up for the rally were sent scurrying for cover after armed riot police ordered the shopping center closed, searched people’s homes and indiscriminately assaulted any person seen outside their home. The terror campaign spread to all high density suburbs in Harare where running battles are still being fought between the people and the security forces of an unpopular regime.

    Three people are feared dead while 127 people have been arrested and that is the price they have paid for turning up for an ordinary party rally. Two of our disabled supporters, Angeline Masaisai and Clara Muzoda were thoroughly assaulted near the venue of the rally after they had painfully traveled all the way from Mabvuku for the star rally. At least 11 Israeli-imported water cannons patrolled the streets of Highfield and 279 were seriously injured in the clashes with the police and are receiving treatment at various hospitals in Harare.

    President Tsvangirai, Vice President Thokozani Khupe and members of the Liberation team attempted to force their way into the stadium only to cause more teargas and chaos from the police.(more...)

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  • Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Sekai Holland: MDC Star rally latest

    Who said living in Zimbabwe would be so exciting!!

    Sad Update - Back From Zimbabwe Grounds!

    It was a bad start to our attempted entry into Zimbabwe Grounds at Highfield just then. The most surprised of all is Mr Marima, Harare province MDC Secretary, who was informed earlier by Police this morning, that they were withdrawing from the grounds, and that the MDC gathered crowds could come into Zimbabwe grounds to hold their Rally. Marima with those gathered, led the jubilant entry, all to be severely assaulted by Police, still inside the Grounds. The crowds in shock are defending themselves from this unexpected assault, we were told as we arrived. The place is crawling with Police.

    Farai Mariri, Harare Province Treasurer, who was with Secretary Marima when the good news was passed onto the Province by Police, in the public hearing of most there, that all was well now with the Rally, is now briefing the entire gathered, holding a copy of the Court Order, allowing MDC to go ahead with the Rally, in the absence of the badly injured person in charge, Marima, of details of what happened.

    When we all arrived after being advised that the Police had cleared the Rally, led by the President Tsvangirai himself, we found the Zimbabwe Grounds blocked to us by Police, heavilly armed, with reinforcement of 3 brand new looking Israeli made military water tanks for rioters. There were
    Police everywhere, inside they were teargassing those in the grounds.

    The President’s convoy was prevented from entering, we were however advised to go to the local Police station with the Court order for the Senior Police Officer on duty to see the Order for himself. The President, accompanied by the National Organising Secretary Elias Mudzuri and others went there, on the way there we met 3 more Israeli water tanks rushing fully maaned and equipped to the Zimbabwe Grounds. I have just been dropped to update everyone and then to go back to the others at Zimbabwe Grounds, where we have all agreed to reconverge when the President returns form the Police Station.

    And so in changed clothes for the new situation including being arrested en mass this afternoon, I now sign off to return to Highfields to join the

    Sekai Holland
    1.15 pm Sunday,18 February 2007

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  • Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Cross posted on Global Voices

    Gideon Gono, the controversial governor of Zimbabwe's central bank delivered a much anticipated monetary statement last week. Sadly, like everything else in the country, it was the incriminating rumours swirling around the governor that were the main fixture early last week when Gono delivered the statement. Gono, who has long been accused of meddling in non-monetary matters, now stands accused of prying into print media, and targeting indigenous bankers while building and protecting his questionable legacy.

    A clearly unimpressed Zimpundit surmized the policy statement thus:
    Here’s what Gono did, or didin’t do in his policy. Lending rates; stagnant at 500%. Exchange rate; shunted at long outdated paltry rates, and nothing else. Correct me if I’m wrong, but last time checked the sum of nothing is, well, nothing. If anything, this last statement was notable because it was Gono’s thinly disguised concession to Zimbabwe free (sometimes called black) market.

    What’s maddening about this is that common Zimbabweans already took fifty punches in their long famished stomachs as prices rocketed in anticipation of Gono’s nil statement. Zimbabwe has a jittery economy which overcorrects for any anticipated shocks. So while Gono, continues to protect his glass house legacy, millions are enduring untold suffering in Zimbabwe. On the streets, where Gono better not go, prices are up, hopelessness is rampant, and there are no jobs.

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  • Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Gono delivers...another damp squib.

    Against the damning background of a controversial mercedes benz, a hardly complentary expose on his meteoric rise, clashes with the finance minister Herbert Murerwa, and the rapid unraveling of his policies, Gono was constitutionaly mandated to deliver yet another monetary policy statement yesterday. Deliver he did, but certainly not a policy statement.

    The only change, a cut in money supply which doesn't count becuase in an already highly speculative economy, speculation will increase by a factor equal to the decrease in money supply. Translation; our record breaking inflation will skyrocket this year if Gono sticks to his promises. Add to that, Gono's tepid appeals to the government to sell off none performing parastatals and his call for action from other stakeholder, and what you get is nothing.

    Here's what Gono did, or didin't do in his policy. Lending rates; stagnant at 500%. Exchange rate; shunted at long outdated paltry rates, and nothing else. Correct me if I'm wrong, but last time checked the sum of nothing is, well, nothing. If anything, this last statement was notable because it was Gono's thinly disguised concession to Zimbabwe free (sometimes called black) market. (more...)

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