Intimidation in Zimbabwe 'has worsened'

By Ben Russell,Political Correspondent
Saturday 25 January 2014 02:20

The political and humanitarian climate in Zimbabwe has deteriorated in the past 12 months, a confidential Commonwealth report says.

The report, by Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth secretary general, condemned Robert Mugabe's regime for harassing opposition leaders and journalists, increasing unemployment and damaging food production. Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth a year ago and the ban has been extended.

The report, which was released yesterday by Michael Ancram, the shadow Foreign Secretary, said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change was still able to function, but "faces considerable harassment, pressure and politically motivated violence and intimidation". It said that "reports have continued of a widespread and systematic campaign of violence and intimidation by agents of the state and supporters of [the ruling party] Zanu-PF against leading members and activists of the MDC".

Mr Ancram urged Zimbabwe's neighbours to condemn President Mugabe.

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