HomeNewsZPP urges Zec to contain political violence

ZPP urges Zec to contain political violence

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A HUMAN rights watchdog has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to come up with a code of conduct against political violence after noting concern over the increase of violence across the political divide.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), also said civic society organisations, the Church, international community, African Union (AU) and Sadc had a role to play to mitigate against the increase of political violence as the country heads towards the 2018 harmonised elections.

There have been reports of intra and inter-party violence, and the ZPP said its monitors had noted a trend that ethnicity and hate speech were in most cases being used to incite political violence.

“The Zec is urged to urgently come up come up with a code of conduct against political violence which has to be signed by all political parties. We call upon the Sadc and AU and their members to strengthen their monitoring processes as we move towards the elections to mitigate against political violence.

“We call upon the international financial institutions to use their leverage to insist on upholding human rights,” the ZPP said in its Early Warning Bulletin.

The country’s elections, since 1980 at the attainment of independence from colonial rule, have been marred by political violence, and already critics, the clergy and the opposition have raised a red flag that the 2018 harmonised polls will be no different.

In 2008, opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai had to boycott the presidential run-off poll citing unrestrained violence against his supporters. Over 200 opposition supporters were left dead and several hundreds injured or displaced in the violent run-off campaigns.

The ZPP said Zimbabwe must break the cycle of violence by ensuring all stakeholders including political parties take a stand against the vice.

“Considering these reports and incidents, there is urgent need for civil society to coordinate efforts around early warning monitoring, reporting and response. We call upon faith-based organisations to embrace and promote peace building and tolerance.

“In addition, political parties are called upon to settle their internal disputes amicably and without resorting to violence to settle political scores. Political parties to embrace tolerance and denounce all forms of violence,” the ZPP added.

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