Tsvangirai protecting Robert Mugabe

tsvangirai_protectingHARARE An international human rights group has slammed Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais MDC-T party of shielding abuses by Zanu (PF) in the name of trying to save Zimbabwes shaky coalition regime. (Pictured: Tsvangirai & Mugabe)

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the power-sharing government formed by the MDC-T and Zanu (PF) last February has largely failed to end rights abuses or to institute fundamental reforms.

It said the new regime in Harare has made no attempt to repeal or substantially amend repressive legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which continue to be used by President Robert Mugabes Zanu (PF) to harass political opponents and rights activists.

The MDC lacks real power and does not consistently speak out against the continued abuses, possibly seeking to save the fledgling power-sharing government, the watchdog said in its annual for 2009 released at the weekend.

Zanu (PF) uses its control of the security forces and the judiciary to harass, abduct, torture and kill those it considers opponents. Mugabes supporters have continued to violently invade commercial farms in total disregard of the rule of law, while police intimidation and harassment of MDC-T and human rights activists persist unabated.

Police, prosecuting authorities, and court officials aligned with Zanu (PF) continue to persecute MDC-T legislators and activists through politically motivated prosecutions. At least 17 MDC-T legislators face various trumped-up criminal charges, with at least five legislators already convicted by the courts.

The watchdog said it appeared that the MDC-T had no solution to Zanu (PF)s continued abuse of power. Zanu (PF) resolved at its congress last month that there should be no movement on the concerns raised by MDC-T before the latter successfully negotiates for the lifting of travel restrictions and an asset freeze imposed on Mugabes lieutenants by the West. The congress instructed Mugabe and Zanu (PF) negotiators to ensure that all outstanding issues, once agreed, must be implemented concurrently.

ZANU PF accuses the MDC-T of not living up to a promise to lead a campaign for lifting of Western sanctions against the veteran Zimbabwean leader and members of his inner circle.

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