‘Diamonds could fuel massive poll violence’

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) regional co-ordinator Munjodzi Mutandiri said certain political parties were eyeing the diamonds from Chiadzwa to bankroll their campaign activities.

Addressing a press conference at Cosatu House in Johannesburg, South Africa, last week, Mutandiri warned the impending elections, Zanu PF was advocating should be held this year, might cause violence.

“Some reports already indicate that Zanu PF intends using the income from alluvial diamond deposits for its campaign in the forthcoming elections,” said Mutandiri.

“Zimbabwe’s autocratic leader, (President) Robert Mugabe, is believed to have been defeated in the 2008 March polls.”

Mutandiri told reporters Sadc leaders should act decisively to avert sporadic violence in Zimbabwe, which he said was mainly spearheaded by Zanu PF.

He said the NCA was preparing a dossier that it would hand to those that could act to bring to justice perpetrators of violence.

He said the violence was affecting mainly women and children.

Crisis Coalition regional coordinator Dewa Mavhinga, who also addressed the press conference, said Zimbabwe’s civic groups were monitoring all the violations of the GPA and would present their findings to the Sadc mediation team on Zimbabwe.

“We are closely monitoring Zimbabwe’s political leadership, particularly those in Zanu PF who, de facto, wield significantly more political power, to ensure that they fully implement Sadc Troika resolutions, including immediately ending all forms of violence and intimidation,” he said.

Gabriel Shumba, the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum leader, said it was a tragedy that as Zimbabwe celebrated its 31st birthday the country was still heavily dependent on handouts.

The civic groups called for reforms in the security sector and media and the need to ensure a genuine people-driven democratic election.

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