Zimbabwean bishops condemn pre-election violence

 The Zimbabwean Bishops' Conference have condemned the recent wave of violence and called for a free and fair vote in next week's elections. In a long-awaited document released this week, the bishops outline the suffering caused by the pre-election violence. They say 26 people have been killed, many more have been injured and countless numbers have been forced to leave their homes. 'Nobody should ever have to suffer reprisals for honestly expressing and living up to their convictions, be they intellectual, religious or political,' they write. The Bishops' Conference appeals to all political parties to 'desist from any form of violence'. They also call on President Mugabe's government and all political parties and their supporters to desist from any form of violence. They ask that government organisations like the police and the media 'revisit their national obligation of service to the nation and all its citizens and not to be partisans'.