- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2008


Rights violations detailed by U.S.

MAPUTO — Violence at the hands of security forces, lynchings and vigilantism against criminals are tarnishing Mozambique’s human rights record, according to a new report by the United States yesterday.

The U.S. State Department’s annual country report on human rights, introduced in Maputo, said there had been a rise in vigilante killings, partly fueled by a lack of a police presence in neighborhoods and an ineffective justice system.

Todd Chapman, the U.S. ambassador to the southern African nation, described the increase in lynchings in 2007 as unacceptable.

While nationwide figures were not available, the media reported 26 vigilante killings in the capital Maputo, Matola and Beira, the second biggest city, the report noted.


Mugabe to raise government pay

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, fighting a tough campaign for re-election this month, has promised big salary increases to restive government workers, state press reported yesterday.

Mr. Mugabe, 84, faces the greatest challenge to his 28-year hold on power. Two rivals accuse him of bringing about a severe economic crisis, and one of them said yesterday that he believed the opposition could win even though the vote would be rigged.

Zimbabweans have suffered from the world’s highest inflation — above 100,000 percent a year — which has eroded incomes in the southern African country. Some teachers, the bulk of state workers, are on strike. Doctors have also threatened to strike.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper said Mr. Mugabe, addressing a campaign rally on Tuesday ahead of the March 29 general election, had promised a huge increase for government employees.


EU to finance urban development

LOME— The European Union will grant Togo a total of $190 million from 2008 to 2013 to help finance urban development, better roads and social infrastructure.

The loan package, announced in Lome by the European Commission on Tuesday, is a major step in the resumption of full cooperation between the Eurepean Union and the small West African country of about 5.7 million people after a 15-year hiatus.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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