The international group Human Rights Watch is calling on southern
African leaders to use Sunday's summit in Johannesburg to insist
Zimbabwe's ruling party observe the rule of law and stop abusing its
In a statement released Saturday, the New York-based
group says it has documented evidence of how President Robert Mugabe's
government has compromised the judiciary, magistrates and prosecutors
and turned the police into an unaccountable wing of the ZANU-PF party.
Rights Watch says Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF has routinely and
arbitrarily arrested and detained opposition members without filing
The group says the government has continued the abuses
even after the signing of a political power-sharing agreement September
15 in which it formally committed to respect human rights.
group has called on the 15-nation Southern African Development
Community (SADC) to insist the Zimbabwe government observe the rule of
law and fulfill its commitments.
The SADC is due to meet in
Johannesburg Sunday to try and solve an impasse between Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over
allocating ministerial posts as part of a September agreement.
one of Zimbabwe's most ferocious critics within the grouping,
Botswana's President Ian Khama, is not expected to attend. He is
traveling instead to the United States to take part in a bio-diversity
This week, Zimbabwe's justice minister, Patrick
Chinamasa, condemned as an "extreme provocation" a suggestion from
President Khama that Zimbabwe should hold new elections to solve its
Opposition leader Tsvangirai boycotted a second
round runoff in the presidential election in June, citing violence and
The opposition won a slim majority in the
parliamentary election, ending the ruling party's grip on power held
since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980.