Zimbabwe's National Security Council met for the first time this year on Friday to discuss escalating violence in the country, among other security matters.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Vice Presidents Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, Deputy Prime Ministers Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe attended the meeting together with service chiefs and senior government officials. Mr. Mugabe chaired the meeting.
Sources privy to the meeting said it was highly charged as Mr Tsvangirai confronted the service chiefs including Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri and Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangangwa who have gone on an all out attack accusing Mr.Tsvangirai’s MDC formation of being behind the resurging violence that has caused tensions in the country.
The MDC and human rights groups accuse ZANU-PF of perpetrating the violence and Mr. Mugabe’s party in turn points a finger at Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation. Co-Home affairs Minister Theresa Makone said the three principals in the unity government have been asked to come up with a roadmap to curb the violence.
Amnesty International, meanwhile, has added its voice to growing international and local concern over the slow pace of political reforms and continuing rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
In a statement to mark the second anniversary of the unity government, Amnesty International said instead of bringing hope the coalition's anniversary comes with renewed fear and instability.
Africa Airector Erwin Van Der Boght of Amnesty International said fading hope in Zimbabwe is being replaced by fear and instabilitiy amid talk of another election in 2011.
The statement also criticises the police for being partisan, urging for the need for concrete security sector reforms and other changes before another election is held. Amnesty also laments the non-issuance of broadcasting licenses to independent players since the formation of the inclusive government.
The rights group which criticizes the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for not being firm with Harare, urges Presdient Mugabe, in particular, to act against growing rights abuses. Amnesty said a panel should be set up to investigate all abuses.
National Director Okay Machisa of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association said more rights violations are likely once a firm election date is announced later in the year.