• Zim Police Arrest Rights Lawyer

    The Zimbabwean police have arrested the country's most prominent rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, and four senior officials from the Movement for Democratic Change, a day after the nation voted in a referendum on a new constitution that calls for more protection against human rights violations.

    According to a police official, Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai's chief legal adviser, Thabani Mpofu, is accused of impersonating police by compiling dossiers on unspecified crimes.

    On one hand Mtetwa was arrested after she demanded that police produce a search warrant at the suburban house used by Mpofu. On the other hand, officers accuse her of trying to take photographs of a security detail on her mobile phone and she was forced into a police vehicle.

    To read the article titled, “Zim police charge lawyer with 'obstructing justice',” click here.

    Mail & Guardian
  • SADC Declares Zim Referendum ‘Credible’

    The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which brokered a coalition pact in Zimbabwe, has handed the constitutional referendum a clean bill of health despite isolated incidents of violence ahead of the vote.

    The regional bloc has described the vote - which was set to endorse the constitution that will pave the way for elections - as ‘peaceful and credible’.

    Bernard Membe, Tanzania's foreign minister who headed the SADC observer mission, points out that, "This is a major step in the implementation" of reforms agreed under a power-sharing government between President Robert Mugabe and his long-time rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

    To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe referendum credible - SADC,” click here.

  • No Referendum for Zim Nationals Abroad

    Zimbabwe says it will not abide by an African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) recommendation to accommodate citizens living abroad to vote in 16 March 2013 referendum.
    The African Union body agreed last month that excluding ordinary people in the diaspora is a violation of their rights to participate freely in government.
    However, the country says neither its current nor proposed constitution compel it to cater for citizens living abroad other than those working in government service.
    To read the article titled, “No vote for Zimbabweans outside the country,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Zim Monitors Threatens to Boycott Polls

    Scores of independent Zimbabwean civic, pro-democracy and rights groups say they will boycott monitoring of voting in a referendum on a new constitution unless the state election commission withdraws bans on activists that affect several key local organisations.
    The commission has so far refused to accredit as poll monitors members of the Zimbabwe Association of Human Rights and says groups under police investigation will also be barred access to the 16 March 2013 polling.
    To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe monitors to boycott poll,” click here.

  • Groups Fear Zim Pre-Election Crackdown

    Rights groups have voiced fears that the Zimbabwean authorities would launch a crackdown on rights activists ahead of a referendum and elections scheduled early next year.
    The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders says that the ‘situation of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe remains grim as their operating space can be further shrunk" in the run-up to polls’.
    The organisation, which launched a report after a fact-finding mission to that country, notes that rights activists still face intimidation, harassment and torture in the troubled nation.
    To read the article titled, “Rights groups fear Zimbabwe pre-election crackdown,” click here.

    Times Live
  • Zimbabwe Referendum Test for SADC's Mediation Efforts

    The South African Development Community (SADC) will know in the next few months if its mediation efforts in Zimbabwe have achieved the desired effect, when the country goes to a referendum on a new draft constitution, followed by general elections.

    In 2008, SADC mandated South Africa to facilitate talks between President Robert Mugabe, his arch-rival the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and a smaller break-away MDC faction.

    After violent elections, which saw hundreds of people killed and thousands displaced, there was a general gloom was in the air, as the country’s political protagonists engaged in a deadly power struggle.

    To read the article titled, “Zimbabwe referendum to test SADC's mediation efforts,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Sudan Urged to Prepare for Real Crisis

    South Sudan’s humanitarian affairs and disaster management minister has urged South Sudan to prepare for what he called a ‘real crisis’, whatever the outcome of an upcoming referendum on the potential partition of Africa's largest country.

    James Kok Ruea says id agencies and the United Nations should be ready to cope with massive displacement of southerners.

    Speaking in the southern capital to a room crowded with the heads of UN and international aid agencies, Ruea warns that, "The needs will be enormous, so we will need your support. We have to be ready, we have to have plans."

    To read the article titled, “South Sudan faces humanitarian crisis,” click here

  • Zanzibar Holds a Referendum

    Zanzibar held a referendum aimed at forming a coalition after upcoming polls in a bid to neutralise the blood and hatred that have blighted the Tanzanian islands' politics for decades.

    The referendum got under way peacefully on the semi-autonomous territory's two islands of Unguja and Pemba and the principle of a national unity government following 31 October polls was expected to be widely endorsed.

    The referendum seeks approval for an amendment to the constitution that will create two vice president positions to be split between the parties that come first and second in parliamentary polls.

    To read to read the titled, “Zanzibar votes on ‘peace govt’,” click here.
  • NGOs Call for Calm After Referendum

    Humanitarian and development agencies have called on Kenya to maintain peace regardless of the referendum outcome.

    In a statement after a meeting in Nairobi to review measures put in place to ensure a successful referendum process on 4 August, the NGOs called for priority to be given in ensuring peace and tranquillity.

    The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya, Aeneas Chuma, points out that, "Working in partnership with the Government of Kenya, United Nations agencies, civil society and other national and international organisations, including the Kenya Red Cross, we have developed a harmonised action plan aimed at maximising existing capacities and minimising gaps in response for the pre- and post-referendum scenario."

    To read the article titled, “NGOs call on country to keep peace after vote,” click here.
    All Africa
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