Zanu PF embarks on "Government of National Unity re-education programmes"

HARARE – Zimbabwe government sponsored violence against Movement for Democratic Change supporters has increased despite the power-sharing deal.

In a well calculated plan to suppress MDC structures and use violence in what it calls "Government of National Unity re-education programmes", explaining or misinforming the meaning of the peace deal to the unsuspecting rural folks has intensified in the last couple of days.

A body of an MDC branch chairman was dumped alongside the road near Juru Growth Point in Mashonaland East.

He was abducted on Monday night by unknown assailants driving a government vehicle. He had two of his fingers cut, private parts burnt with plastic in a gruesome torture reminiscent of ZANLA forces’ acts during the war of liberation.

"Zanu-PF torture bases are still operational in Mbare and other parts of the country, but the police are not doing anything to dismantle them." an opposition source claims

War Vets, Zanu PF Youths and government security personnel have been deployed in outlying rural areas to beat up and torture innocent civilians as a way to "re-educate" them that Zanu PF is still in charge in the peace deal with the opposition.

Our source revealed that the reason to "delay or haggle" over appointment of cabinet Ministers was a deliberate move to buy time for this program to be implemented.

This comes as the country’s leading civil-society group announced its rejection of the deal, while the impasse in allocating cabinet seats looked no closer to being resolved, with the three main parties apparently waiting for clarification on Thabo Mbeki’s continued participation as facilitator.

The Southern African Development Community, which appointed him in March last year, said on Wednesday this depended on the former South African president, as he did not need to be in office to continue.

"It does not need someone to be a sitting president to facilitate in a dispute. It does not subtract anything because he has resigned, unless he personally thinks otherwise," said SADC spokesperson Charles Mubita.

Mbeki’s spokesperson, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said on Wednesday: "This is a matter of state. President Mbeki was mediating as head of state and on behalf of SADC.

"So, for instance, the government would have to take a position and communicate it to SADC, which would have to accept or reject it."

There was growing scepticism over the sustainability of the deal, as the two main leaders remained worlds apart. While President Robert Mugabe left his country in limbo to bask in the expected praise at the UN in New York, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai toured the countryside to assess Zimbabwe’s humanitarian needs.

The National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), which unites Zimbabwe’s trade unions, human rights organisations and churches, declared on Monday that the agreement provided for "very little power-sharing", reports Sapa-dpa.

NCA chairperson Lovemore Madhuku said the main features of the current constitution had been retained in the agreement, with Mugabe "wielding overwhelming powers". He said Tsvangirai’s post "has been created merely to absorb the MDC under the guise of power-sharing".

"We will be happy if it fails. The people who were running Mugabe’s torture camps in the June election are now the same ones who are explaining the agreement to people in the rural areas.

"They are saying it gobbles the MDC up into Zanu-PF," he added.

The NCA was insisting on a constitution-making process run by a commission that included trade unions; churches; political parties; and groups representing women, the youth, academics, the media and business.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said on Wednesday night political violence was continuing in some parts of the country. He gave details of three separate incidents, and added that no arrests had been made despite reports to the police.

Meanwhile Zanu PF President Robert Mugabe said the resignation of South African President Thabo Mbeki was devastating, state media reported on Thursday.

 "It’s devastating news that President Thabo Mbeki is no longer the President of South Africa, but that is the action of the South African people," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as telling reporters in New York.

Mbeki brokered a power-sharing deal earlier this month to end a deep political crisis in Zimbabwe, but Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai are still deadlocked over cabinet posts.