Obama Slams Mugabe Murders
- Zimbabwe police, Zanu PF militants torture suspects to death
By John Chimunhu
United States president Barack Obama’s administration has condemned the regime of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean dictator widely accused of murdering thousands of opponents in nearly four decades of misrule.
In a scathing report issued Thursday, the US said Mugabe’s forces were guilty of “arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life”.
“There were reports the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings,” said the US State Department’s human rights report for 2015. “Progress in cases from previous years was slow, and most cases remained open. Police units sometimes organized or participated in political violence. Security sector impunity stemming from politically motivated abuses remained a problem.”
Said the report: “On April 23, three Criminal Investigation Department police officers arrested Robert Takawira for suspected theft. The officers severely beat Takawira with baton sticks before taking him to a police station where they denied him medical attention. On April 24, he died from those injuries while in police custody.”
The report said with few exceptions, investigations remained pending for previous cases of violence resulting in death committed by security forces and ZANU-PF supporters.
“On April 24, ZANU-PF supporters and state security agents allegedly killed Pepukai Mudzembiri, Zaka North District Chairperson of the Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T). Police investigators stated that he was killed in a hit-and-run accident, a point disputed by human rights organizations and MDC-T party officials. A ZANU-PF supporter reportedly threatened Mudzembiri with abduction and death before the 2013 presidential and parliamentary elections. Impunity for past politically motivated violence remained a problem. Police and the prosecutor general failed to arrest or prosecute senior or well-known ZANU-PF supporters for violence in previous years. There were limited advances in holding legally accountable those responsible for the killings of at least 19 citizens who died of injuries sustained during the 2008 political violence that targeted opposition party members; more than 270 others also were killed that year. Observers believed the primary perpetrators of the violence were members of ZANU-PF, including the party’s youth militia, and individuals identifying themselves as war veterans,” the report said,
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