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Saturday, January 21, 2017
Zimbabwe: government militia shut down Christian community office
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¬†A community organisation based in a church in Harare was forced to close its office yesterday, after government militia stormed the building and threatened to beat people meeting there. The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) represents residents of Mbare, one of the poorest and most crowded districts in Harare. Their meetings, which are funded by Christian Aid, are popular with residents who can raise concerns about local issues that affect their lives ≠ such as the rising cost of water, broken sewers or rubbish collection. The most recent meeting coincided with a ruling party meeting in the same area. The ruling party meeting was poorly attended and this, coupled with rising tensions because of the ongoing strikes of doctors and teachers, is believed to have provoked the threats. In a statement, CHRA said: "The Association would like to assure residents and civic partners that CHRA will not be deterred by this interference but will use it to further mobilise the marginalised community of Mbare. "Activities will continue as CHRA finds a new office. CHRA is concerned with the continued harassment and interference from ZANU PF into Civic Society issues. "The Association would like to reinforce that it is non-partisan and does not deal with political issues. The regime is timid and is now afraid of its own people. It will use violence and any tactics to support residents' voices demanding change. "CHRA is committed to defending residents and advocating for effective, accountable and transparent governance." Source: Christian Aid
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