Zimbabwe police increase threats - groups

2013-03-09 22:48
Zimbabwean army. (Picture: Supplied)

Zimbabwean army. (Picture: Supplied)

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Grace Mugabe blocks high level probe against Kasukuwere
Grace Mugabe blocks high level probe against Kasukuwere

President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has reportedly told five top Zanu-PF officials, who are investigating the party’s embattled political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, to call off a meeting in Bindura after it emerged that rival party factions were planning to disrupt it.

Harare - Rights groups say police in Zimbabwe have increased threats against civic groups a week away from a referendum on a new constitution and crucial elections to end the nation's shaky coalition later this year.

An alliance of 15 human rights, pro-democracy and labour groups said on Saturday police mounted "a sustained and escalating assault" on activists to discredit their organizations ahead of polling.

The state Electoral Commission announced on Friday that groups under police investigation or leaders facing any charges will not be allowed to observe the referendum vote next Saturday.

At least three main groups, including the independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network, have been affected by police raids on their offices this year.

The alliance said most civic groups are facing "vague and generalised search warrants, arrests, persecution and prosecution".

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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