Sean McCormack attacks Mugabe (27-07-07)

by chief reporter

– US State department spokesman Sean McCormack has launched a stinging attack on President Robert Mugabe accusing him of clinging to power and sanctioning the violent suppression of the democratic opposition.
In a press statement issued yesterday, M

cCormack condemned Mugabe for the turmoil in Zimbabwe and the brutal assault of National Constitutional Assembly activists by his police militia.
At least 150 NCA members sustained broken bones and bruises after a severe bashing by police. They had attempted to demonstrate during the official opening of Parliament against despotic laws set to be passed during the 3rd session of the 6th Parliament of Zimbabwe that was officially opened by Mugabe Tuesday.
NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku said the demo was aimed at protesting against Constitutional Amendment No 18 which empowers Mugabe to expand parliament.
Police arrested 243 NCA activists in Harare while 15 people were
arrested in Mutare, 12 in Masvingo and six in Gweru.
“The U.S. calls on President Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the right of all Zimbabweans to participate in the democratic process and to guarantee the safety and well-being of its citizens,” McCormack said. “Yesterday’s beating of over 200 Zimbabwean citizens that were peacefully demonstrating for a new constitution is an overt attempt by the Government of Zimbabwe to eliminate any criticism in advance of elections planned for next year. This latest action continues to call into question the Government of Zimbabwe ‘ s commitment to the SA D C (Southern African D evelopment Community) mediation effort to establish conditions for free and fair elections.”
Ruling party militants, headed by veterans of the bush war that led to independence in 1980, have long carried out violent attacks on the opposition. They have recently begun threatening businesses in urban areas.

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