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Zimbabwe Police Compiling Information on 2008 Wave of Political Violence

The Zimbabwean police on orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs are compiling information on political violence committed last year in the period between the March 29 elections and the June 27 presidential runoff, Home Affairs Co-Minister Giles Mutsekwa said Thursday.

Since the installation of a national unity government in February, many more victims of that wave of political violence have come forward to file complaints with police in hopes that the government will take action on those complaints against the alleged perpetrators.

Some 2,000 new reports have been filed with the police since the government was installed, according to a report in the Zimbabwe Times, an online publication.

The former opposition Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, now in majority in parliament, has charged that nearly 300 of its officials and members were killed during that period while thousands more were injured.

But no major investigation has been launched into the violence, which many observers have accused the state, under President Robert Mugabe, of organizing.

Mutsekwa, a member of Mr. Tsvangirai's formation of the MDC, shares control of the Home Affairs Ministry with Kembo Mohadi of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, said his ministry is encouraging victims to file reports with the police or local civil authorities.

Mutsekwa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that his ministry has instructed the police to thoroughly investigate violence allegations.

VOA was unable to reach Mohadi for comment on the initiative.

Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organization, welcomed the initiative, saying it restores confidence among Zimbabweans in the judicial system.

But Restoration of Human Rights Communications Director Edgar Chikuvire said that the Zimbabwe Republic Police needs broad re-education on human rights issues.

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