Militia pressure mounts

zanupf_thugsMUTARE - Zanu (PF) youth militia are reportedly disrupting meetings on constitutional reform in the province and stepping up pressure on MDC-T supporters to call Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to remove Western sanctions.

The notorious militia is reported to be forcing other villagers including youths to march in business centres to demonstrate against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai demanding the sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and other Zanu (PF) big-wigs be lifted.

The militia is disrupting the constitution making process meetings because they know that the majority are against the Kariba Draft. They are now hijacking the meetings by attacking Tsvangirai to remove sanctions. The people are being forced to march in business centres demonstrating against Tsvangirai to remove the sanctions, said one villager on condition of anonymity.

We know what we want as people of Zimbabwe. We fully support Tsvangirai and there is no need for them to force us to demonstrate against him, said another youth. Human rights activists and analysts in Mutare said such episodes of violence and intimidation reflected the determination on the part of Zanu (PF) to dominate the political space with a constitutional referendum and new national elections in the offing between now and 2012.

I can confirm that we have been receiving reports that Zanu (PF) youth militia and war veterans have established torture bases in the province and have been disrupting meetings across the province regarding constitutional reform. They are now forcing the people to shift focus from constitution making to sanctions, said Martin Matika a member from ZimRights.

Some prominent human rights activists who are on the forefront of mobilizing the people to reject the Kariba Draft have gone into hiding alleging harassment and intimidation by the Joint Operations Command (JOC), a panel of top military and security officials.

Our meetings are being interrupted by some members of the central intelligence and plain clothes police. Therefore people will not be free in expressing their independent views, said Matika. Members of the JOC include Defense Minister Emerson Mnangagwa, State Security Minister Dydmus Mutasa, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, and the commanders of the Army and the Air Force.

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