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Zimbabwe's Top High Court Judge Warns Parties On Electoral Violence


The head of Zimbabwe's high court issued issued a stern warning Monday to political parties, saying violence will not be tolerated in the upcoming elections and that those found to have perpetrated such violence will be dealt with severely.

High Court Judge President Rita Makarau, opening the 2008 high court session on Monday, said previous elections have shown that Zimbabweans lack political maturity as they have engaged in "some kind of violence to score political goals.” She urged all parties to maintain calm during and after the elections set to be held in March.

Makarau also took a swipe at uniformed officers, in particular traffic police, whom she accused of becoming increasingly corrupt. She lamented the shortage of magistrates and judges, which she said was causing long delays in the disposition of cases.

For perspective, reporter Ntungamili Nkomo turned to advocate Nicholas Mathonsi, present at the high court opening today, who said that while it was commendable for the chief justice to speak out against electoral violence, the courts have in the past shown a bias towards the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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