Although Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party has agreed to
talks with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change on a possible
power sharing arrangement, the country's political violence and
intimidation continue. Peta Thornycroft reports ZANU-PF militia are
still patrolling vast parts of the country.
who have returned to Harare from hiding places in Zimbabwe and in
neighboring countries, say the mood in the country is tense.
say they dare not go to their homes for fear of being arrested. About
20 winning MDC legislators have been arrested since the elections in
One legislator from the eastern Manicaland Province, who
spent three weeks in detention recently and asked not to be identified,
said members of the ZANU-PF militia are asking for money from people
who fled during post-election violence and now want to return home. He
said those who have returned have found their assets, such as food and
livestock, were taken after the elections.
A parliament member
from the Mashonaland East Province, a ZANU-PF stronghold where many
voted for the first time for the MDC - said militias still control
people's movements in and out of villages.
An MDC legislator in Mutare, Pishai Muchauraya, said his officials are searching for many people listed as missing.
branch chairman Reuben Mutewe, 38, from Manicaland Province, who was
abducted from his home June 30, was found in the mortuary at the Mutare
General Hospital last Friday.
Muchauraya says they have still
not found the body of activist Emmanuel Nyapfungwe, who he says was
allegedly murdered June 20 in Manicaland Province.
farm invasions continue, particularly in the Manicaland province where
six white families and their workers were forced to abandon their homes
The agreement signed by ZANU-PF and MDC says the violence is to be discussed during their talks in South Africa.
point for negotiations is the resumption of humanitarian aid, banned
June 4 by one of ZANU-PF's two negotiators, Welfare Minister Nicholas
The government has started to sell food aid to those in
need at bargain prices. But the Combined Harare Residents' Association
said only ZANU-PF members are being given access. The association said
many Harare residents are at the point of starvation.