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24.06.2008 Politics

Parliament endorses AU, UN intervention in Zimbabwean crisis.

By GNA
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Accra, June 24, GNA-Parliament has condemned in strong language the intimidation of opponents of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and his
ZANU-PF party and called on the African Union and the United Nations to set
into restore calm to that country.
Both the Majority and Minority sides spared no words in scathing President Mugabe for the eruption of violence after the conduct of Presidential Elections.
The violence has prompted Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, to announce his withdrawal from the run-off presidential elections in that country.
The condemnation followed a statement by Prof. Mike Oquaye, MP for Dome Kwabenya, in which he called on Africa and the World to act before it was too late, to "save Zimbabwe from human degradation, poverty, misery and disease"
Prof Oquaye in a graphic description said soldiers on the side of the ruling ZANU-PF are "burning people alive, molesting innocent human beings and unleashing atrocities on poor fellow citizens.
"The point about violence in Zimbabwe is that the government itself admits there is violence, save that it is the doing of the opposition.
“Some details of the tragedy are that 86 people have been killed, several maimed, scores injured and 200,000 persons displaced."
Calling the atrocities a "sore on the conscience of the world," Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, Deputy Minister of Energy lashed out at activities the 84-year-old President Mugabe and "his cabal" which had led to sky-rocketing prices and very dire economic, political and social situations.
"The full force of the African continent must be brought to bear on Mugabe and his cabal", Mr Hammond said.
Minority Leader, Alban Sumana Bagbin said, "the problem has now become a monster. We must stand up and stop the monster there. It is not serving anybody any good.
Describing the atrocities as "stupidity", Mr. Bagbin wondered why African leaders had treated Mr. Mugabe with kids' gloves, "sitting down and watching".
He urged the AU "to call an emergency meeting to halt the rot in Zimbabwe" and also adopt a mechanism to put in an interim government in Zimbabwe.
"We must give clear signals to our leaders that nobody is a repository of knowledge. If he [Mugabe] dies today, Zimbabwe will survive," Mr Bagbin said.
Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Abraham Ossei Aidooh recalled that Ghana and other African countries had supported in the fight for independence for Zimbabwe, when it was Rhodesia and supported a suggestion to put aside the issue of sovereignty of Zimbabwe and put an end to the atrocities there.
The House also discussed a statement by Mrs Doris Seidu (NPP-Chereponi) on the need to find lasting solutions to the problem of head porters, nicknamed "kayayei".
Contributions suggested the need to address poverty in rural areas, especially the northern sector and resettlement schemes for the head porters.
Members also took the Anti-terrorism Bill through a second reading.
The object of the Bill is to provide legislation on terrorism, and bring it into consonance with international laws against terrorism.
A memorandum on the Bill notes that; "although there are provisions in the Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29) on the safety of the state and other matters connected with terrorism, these are not considered adequate to meet current international best practices and standards on the subject.
"It is necessary to provide comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation to avoid a situation where the country may become a haven of terrorists because of laxity of the law."

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