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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa says he is
'appalled' by alleged abuse of civilians by security forces

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday expressed shock at the harassment and beating of civilians by Zimbabwean security agents and ordered the arrest of those involved.

Reacting to a SkyNews report on the beatings and harassment, Mnangagwa said said on Twitter that the ill-treatment "was not the Zimbabwean way."

The report showed Zimbabwean state security agents beating a handcuffed man they had arrested in one of Harare’s suburbs.

The president’s comment came after the ministers of home affairs and justice at the weekend said government would investigate allegations of misconduct by security forces, including abuse of citizens during demonstrations that rocked the country earlier this month.

Rights organizations have alleged that members of Zimbabwe’s security forces have tortured, beaten, harassed and sexually abused citizens during and after the demonstrations held in protest against the increase in price of fuel.

The violent demonstrations resulted in the death of at least six people, looting of shops and widespread destruction of property.

Some 700 people have been arrested countrywide in connection with the violence.

Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema said the government took seriously reports of alleged rape, sexual abuse and assault allegedly committed by members of the uniformed forces.
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UPDATES:

South Africa ruling ANC delegation meets Zimbabwe ruling party officials

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- A delegation from South Africa’s ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday met with officials from Zimbabwe’s governing ZANU-PF party in Harare to discuss the situation in the country.

The five-member team, led by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, was briefed on the current situation in the country by the Zimbabwean party’s secretary for administration Obert Mpofu at the ZANU-PF headquarters.

In his address, Magashule applauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa for giving them the opportunity to interact with their counterparts.

"We clearly understand the situation on the ground which is affecting your country and we want to move forward as former liberation movements in addressing your situation," he said.

Mpofu said the two political parties were joined together by a rich revolutionary background.

"Our long walk to freedom as stated by your founding father Nelson Mandela still continues.

As Zimbabwe we have achieved one milestone in this journey of emancipation by ensuring that we take ownership of the land."

"This precious resource which is very dear and sentimental to all Africans should not be taken for granted," he said.

The country was rocked by demonstrations two weeks ago as Zimbabweans protested against rising fuel prices and the deteriorating economic situation.

At least six people were killed during the protests while several shops were looted and property destroyed.

About 700 people were arrested countrywide in connection with the violent protests.
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Zimbabwean president sets up task force to
address issues related to post-election violence

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has set up an inter-ministerial task force to address issues detailed in recent reports and findings concerning last year’s post-election violence.

"President Mnangagwa has established an Inter-Ministerial Task Force to address issues arising from the reports by the 2018 Harmonized Election Observer Missions as well as the Findings of the Motlanthe Commission," the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services said in a statement Monday.

The task force consists of justice minister as the chairman, minister of foreign affairs as deputy chair, minister of information, minister of finance, minister of home affairs, minister of industry, minister of state security, Zimbabwe Law Society Representative, the attorney general and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

Several observer missions commended the peaceful pre-election environment in last year’s first post-Mugabe era elections but deplored the post-election violence that occurred on Aug. 1 resulting in the deaths of six people and destruction of property.

Western observers, in particular the European Union (EU) observer mission, hailed the peaceful pre-election period but condemned what it called misuse of state resources, intimidation of voters, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias of the state media in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF party.

The EU observer mission also noted lack of independence of the ZEC, saying this undermined public trust in the electoral body.

The observer group, which was the single largest international observer group to the polls, recommended implementation of reforms to ensure the ZEC is widely perceived to be an independent election management body capable of administering credible elections.

The Commission of Inquiry set up by President Mnangagwa to look into the Aug. 1 violence also made a number of recommendations including national dialogue among main political parties, provision of compensation to all the affected victims, review of all laws relating to hate speech, abuse of cyber space and incitement to commit acts of violence.

The seven-member Commission of Inquiry, chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, also recommended that police should be equipped with the necessary skills and capacity to deal with rioters and should be further trained to be professional and non-partisan.
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SEE ALSO:

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa cancels
Davos economic talks to deal with dissent back home

FURTHER READING:

Zimbabwe's president guilty of 'gross human rights abuses,' says opposition figure Tendai Biti

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