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NGO Association Urges Zimbabwe Politicians To Resolve Differences

Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations have collectively urged the political class to overcome its differences on forming a unity government in the interest of the people.

Before Monday's mini-summit in Harare of the Southern African Development Community, which was unable to reconcile differences between President Robert Mugabe and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai on the composition of a unity government, board members of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations met with Tsvangirai and ZANU-PF Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

They told them in separate sessions that Zimbabweans are “grievously concerned, hurt and gravely disappointed” by the failure of political leaders to form a unity government to address urgent humanitarian needs. The group also appealed to international donors to step up food and other humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people.

NANGO Chairwoman Mildred Sandi told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that she and other directors urged practicality in power-sharing.

Meanwhile, leaders of a youth organization that organized a demonstration Monday at the SADC summit said they feared a body being held at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare might be that of one of two Youth Agenda Trust members abducted during the demonstration, allegedly by militants of the long-ruling ZANU-PF party.

Youth Agenda Trust Coordinator Arnold Chamunorwa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the group received a tip from police that the body was left at the hospital Tuesday by officials of ZANU-PF's Harare provincial office.

Representatives of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told VOA that their group was looking into the case, but would only comment if the body were identified as being that of one of the Youth Agenda Trust members believed abducted on Monday.

But human rights lawyer Otto Saki said all of the 42 activists arrested by police during the demonstration on Monday had paid Z$20 fines and were released.

Elsewhere, members of another organization, Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe, protested Tuesday in Masvingo, capital of eastern Masvingo province.

Restoration spokesman Edgar Chikuvire said the peaceful demonstration was attended by about 100 people and drew no police intervention, adding that the group is staging protests nationwide to press for speedy formation of a national unity government.

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