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International Bar Association Says ZANU-PF Blocking Reform in Zimbabwe


The International Bar Association said the Zimbabwean political environment is “gravely polarized and characterized by a resurgence of violence, arrests, intimidation and hate speech” running counter to the spirit of the GPA

The International Bar Association has issued a report saying hardliners in the ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe are using the state apparatus to frustrate political reforms, rendering it almost impossible to hold a free and fair elections.

The IBA report, entitled “Zimbabwe – Time for a New Approach,” says Harare remains in crisis three years after the September 2008 signature of the Global Political Agreement for power sharing, basis of the unity government formed in February 2009.

The London-based IBA said the Zimbabwean political environment is “gravely polarized and characterized by a resurgence of violence, arrests, intimidation and hate speech” running counter to the spirit of the GPA.

The lawyers called on the United Nations and European Union to remain diplomatically engaged to support efforts by the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to promote broad-based democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that organizations such as the bar association are in business to criticize ZANU-PF.

Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said ZANU-PF has indeed frustrated reform.

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