The incident was witnessed by a number of journalists who were accompanying
foreign diplomats visiting the province on a fact-finding mission to check
on victims of post-election violence. The convoy included ambassadors from
the United States, the UK, Japan, the Netherlands, the European Union and a
representative of the Tanzanian high commissioner. They were returning to
Harare in a 13-vehicle convoy when they were stopped.
One of the journalists travelling with the diplomats said the police wanted
to know what the ambassadors’ mission was in the province. U.S. ambassador
James McGee is believed to have calmly told the officers that diplomats were
not obliged to deal directly with junior officers but with their commanding
officers or officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘It was at this stage that a vehicle with state agents arrived and one of
them started recording all the number plates of the diplomatic vehicles. A
second vehicle carrying soldiers in civilian attire got to the roadblock and
one of its occupants started shouting racist remarks at an American embassy
official,’ the journalist said.
Ambassador McGee protested the abusive language and walked towards the
vehicle, at which point the driver tried to speed off.Â But the Ambassador
stepped in front of the car to block it from making a gateway. It’s believed
the driver swerved round the Ambassador, bumping him.
‘The Ambassador wasn’t injured but he has taken up the issue with the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As journalist’s we viewed the incident as
bullying tactics by the government,’ our source said.
Our source added that they saw very depressing scenes at the two hospitals.
At Howard Mission the male ward was full of victims of violence. Mashonaland
Central has recorded the highest incidents of post election violence since
the 29th March elections. At Mvurwi hospital, victims were receiving little
medical help as staff said they had run out of medicines.
The trip on Tuesday comes a day after Ambassador McGee said there was
undeniable evidence that Robert Mugabe’s party is driving a systematic
campaign of violence, intended to intimidate opposition supporters before a
runoff presidential election.
As a supporter of human rights, McGee felt compelled to speak out against
‘atrocities being committed across Zimbabwe,’ and has vowed to press for the
prosecution of perpetrators of the violence.
Â sw radio africaPost published in: News