Harare, May 31, 2012: The United States condemns the murder of Cephas Magura by ZANU-PF supporters in Mudzi during a May 26 MDC-T rally. We are deeply concerned by reports that the Zimbabwe Republic Police on the scene refused to uphold the law or to protect the public by failing to stop ZANU-PF supporters from violently attacking lawfully-assembled MDC-T supporters.
We understand that the MDC-T rally had prior police approval but was disrupted from its beginning by ZANU-PF supporters led by MP Newton Kachepa and Ward 3 Councilor David Chimukoko. Rally participants report that the police, including officers from the Internal Security and Intelligence Unit, refused to stop the ZANU-PF supporters from holding a disruptive, unsanctioned parallel rally and from attacking MDC-T supporters, including the elderly. By the end of the conflict, local MDC-T Ward 1 chairperson Cephas Magura had been killed and several other MDC-T supporters had been severely beaten in one of the worst eruptions of political violence this year.
The United States condemns the ZANU-PF thugs responsible for committing these attacks and the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who failed to fulfill their official duty to serve and protect their fellow Zimbabweans. At the same time, the United States applauds those patriots within the Zimbabwe Republic Police who later arrested several individuals implicated in this violence. We call on the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the ZANU-PF Disciplinary Committee to conduct a thorough investigation of these events on May 26 and to hold all responsible for this atrocity to account.