Party briefing blames ‘rogue NGOs’ and ‘hostile intelligence services’ for violence
'Zimbabwe’s ruling party believes western powers are behind a “revolution” to bring about regime change in the country, according to documents seen by the Guardian.
Briefing papers prepared by Zanu-PF officials blame opposition parties and “rogue NGOs” for “an orgy of violence” following a protest against fuel price rises last month, accusing them of following a plan “by hostile elements to subvert the state by rendering the country ungovernable”.
The document is thought to have been produced by Zanu-PF officials for circulation among foreign diplomats at the African Union summit, currently underway in Addis Abbaba. It will concern observers already worried by the increasingly hard line taken by the Zimbabwean authorities.
The protests last month led to sporadic incidents of rioting and looting, which prompted a brutal crackdown by the police and the army.
The violence came 14 months after the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe came to an end following a military takeover, and was the worst in Zimbabwe for at least a decade.
Police documents seen by the Guardian last week detailed the army’s role in a series of killings, rapes and beatings.
In a report published earlier this week, a coalition of local NGOs described a “de facto state of emergency” and a “reign of terror” by the security forces, which they accused of being responsible for 1,800 human rights violations.
They said these included at least 17 extrajudicial killings, 16 rapes, 26 abductions and more than 600 assaults.'
Read more: West stirring up unrest in Zimbabwe to force regime change, says Zanu-PF