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Zimbabwe Human Rights Activists Report Upsurge in Politically Motivated Violence

Christian Alliance spokesman Useni Sibanda said the areas currently seeing political violence are the very ones that saw the worst outbreaks in March-June 2008 between the two presidential election rounds

The apparently beneficial mediation in Harare by South African President Zuma this week may have come not a moment too soon: human rights activists and members of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai say political violence has been on the rise in a number of provinces.

They said politically motivated violence has been rising in particular in rural areas in districts such as Buhera in Manicaland, Mwenenzi in Masvingo and Murewa in Mashonaland East where war veterans, youth militia and suspected central intelligence organization agents have been threatening and assaulting members of the former political opposition and their perceived supporters.

Human rights activists said regional intervention may be necessary to keep a lid on such political violence.

Christian Alliance spokesman Useni Sibanda told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the areas currently seeing violence are the same areas that saw the worst outbreaks of violence in March-June 2008 between presidential election rounds.

In a related development, Tsvangirai MDC lawmakers are moving to create a select House committee to probe political violence from March 2008 to the present.

Tsvangirai MDC Chief Whip Innocent Gonese presented a report this week chronicling violence alleged to have been committed by ZANU-PF militants in 2008. This led to a walkout by ZANU-PF House members.

Despite this reaction, Gonese said his party wants to see a committee in place which could also take up the question of reparations to victims.