"Our Hands Are Tied": Erosion of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe

“Our Hands Are Tied”

Erosion of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe

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I. Summary

II. Recommendations

To the Future Government of Zimbabwe

To the Chief Justice

To the Office of the Attorney General

To the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police

To the Southern African Development Community and the African Union

To International Donors (including the US, UK and other EU members, etc.)

III. Methodology

IV. Background

Brief History of ZANU-PF’s Repression since 1980

Political Situation before and after the March 2008 Elections

Political Impasse Persists

Establishment and Functions of the Judiciary, Prosecutors and Police

V. A Compromised Judiciary

VI. Magistrates and Prosecutors under Pressure

Intimidation, Threats and Attacks against Magistrates

Political Interference by the Office of the Attorney General and Public Prosecutors

VII. A Politicized and Partisan Police Force

Police Inaction when ZANU-PF and Allies are Implicated in Political Violence

Police Persecution of MDC Leaders, Supporters and Perceived Supporters

Police Response to Court Rulings

Police Harassment of Civil Society Leaders and Activists

Attacks, Harassment and Abuse of Lawyers Taking up Political Cases

Police Engagement in Partisan Politics

Police Complicity in ZANU-PF Abuses

Police Abuses since the Power-Sharing Agreement

VIII. Restoring the Rule of Law and Addressing Accountability under a New Government

IX. Acknowledgements


November 2008 ISBN: 1-56432-404-4