Zimbabwe police recruit huge surge of extra cops before next election
Monday 28 May 2007
Zimbabwe to boost
police for poll
The police are accused of favouring the ruling party
Zimbabwe has started a massive recruitment drive to almost double numbers ahead of next year's election, a senior police officer says.
Faustino Mazango told the state-owned Herald newspaper that he wanted to have 50,000 officers for the elections, up from 29,000 at present.
Correspondents say this will be seen as the start of preparations for a crackdown on the opposition.
President Robert Mugabe has said he intends to stand for re-election.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) often accuses the police of harassing and beating its members.
Almost 200 MDC activists were arrested on Saturday but have been released without charge.
A police spokesman had said Saturday's arrests were in connection with recent bombings around the capital, Harare.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa says that some of those arrested were beaten and have gone to hospital.
The government accuses the MDC of stirring up election violence.
It denies these charges and says they are a pretext to justify clamping down on its activities.
"We have started a massive recruitment exercise so that we have a minimum of 50,000 police officers by the time we have elections," The Herald quotes Senior Assistant Commissioner Mazango as saying.
The AFP news agency reports that many police officers are leaving the force to seek better paid work elsewhere.
In March, scores of MDC activists, including party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, were severely assaulted in police custody, sparking international condemnation.
President Mugabe has said Mr Tsvangirai deserved to be assaulted for ignoring police warnings not to go ahead with a banned rally.
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The Herald (Harare, Zimbabwe)
Tuesday 29 May 2007
expose US lies
EDITOR -- The travel warning issued by the United States government to its citizens against travelling to Zimbabwe, shows that Washington has not given up its drive to effect illegal regime change in our country.
The statement, issued on May 11 2007, was ample evidence that the US is still conducting psychological warfare and an attempted blockade against Zimbabwe.
The Bush administration is fixated with smearing our image by groundlessly accusing our political leaders of condoning what they call "security forces’ use of violence, including lethal force, against anyone the Government perceives as an opponent".
When our security forces arrest, and our courts convict, people who wantonly violate the law, the US has no right condemning them for descending on lawless elements.
All arrests are carried out with full respect for the rights and freedoms of the individuals concerned, which can not be said for the way the US treated prisoners at Abu Ghraib and is treating inmates at Guantanamo Bay.
I am very disappointed with the US’ predilection for reckless false propaganda against our country.
However, through our actions and interaction with all visitors, we Zimbabweans can prove without any doubt that the US is peddling falsehoods, the same way it lied and continues to lie about countries it targets for illegal regime change.
The US may have succeeded in isolating other countries from the rest of the world, but we will never allow it to succeed where our country is concerned.
The Americans should know that we Zimbabweans are smart enough to understand their hostile foreign policy, and the extent to which Uncle Sam can go to realise his dreams.
It is, however, unfortunate that some among us are swayed by such infantile propaganda, but believe me the world knows the truth about Zimbabwe, and we should do everything in our power to expose US lies.
We must let the world know that our country is a safe tourist destination and we are masters of our own destiny.
While there is no doubt that we can benefit a lot from US visitors, we can certainly do without them if they still believe George W. Bush who lied a record 237 times over Iraq alone.
Hurombo Hurombo Zvaho.