Letters to the editor: Politically-motivated violence a concern

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CCC leader Nelson Chamisa chats with some party supporters injured after suspected Zanu PF youths attacked an opposition rally in Kwekwe yesterday

THE Election Resource Centre (ERC) notes with grave concern the politically-motivated violence targeting Citizens Coalition for Change supporters in Kwekwe on Sunday February 27, 2022.

Acts of political violence are unacceptable in Zimbabwe’s democracy, and ERC calls on all political parties, State institutions and electoral stakeholders to desist from the practice.

Further, ERC calls on the constitutional bodies responsible for justice to investigate and prosecute instigators of violence.

ERC reminds political parties and their supporters that democracy is about multi-parties and divergent views and to that end, calls on all political parties to respect democratic principles set out in the Constitution.

While ERC applauds the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for acting swiftly in arresting the accused persons, the unresponsiveness of institutions meant to promote peace and a free and fair electoral environment will lead to a lack of confidence in the functionality of those systems.

At a time when electoral credibility is waning, there must be deliberate efforts to fix the damage done to the legitimacy of our democratic institutions.

Trust in institutions is a critical part of systemic peace and credible elections.

1. ERC calls upon the ZRP, the National Peace  and Reconciliation Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission whose constitutional mandate is to support human rights, democracy, to promote constitutionalism, peaceful co-existence to swiftly move in to exert their mandates without fear or favour and investigate the violence meted out in Kwekwe in order to avert a degeneration into chaos.

2. ERC calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to proactively act in terms of their constitutional functions to ensure free and fair elections.

The ongoing unresponsiveness of Zec to politically-motivated violence casts into doubt the freeness and fairness of the impending by-elections and will contribute to the already increasing citizen apathy ahead of the polls.- ERC


Kwekwe violence condemned

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EAL Zimbabwe condemns in the strongest terms acts of violence targeting members of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) by alleged Zanu PF supporters in Kwekwe during a rally on February 27, 2022.

According to party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere, 17 CCC supporters were badly injured during the attack while one person lost his life.

The attack came barely a day after Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga announced during a rally in Kwekwe that his party was ready to “crush the CCC like lice” and prevent its leader Nelson Chamisa from winning the harmonised elections in 2023.

Heal Zimbabwe notes that such reckless statements by the Vice-President incite hate and animosity among political players.

Heal Zimbabwe is greatly concerned that while President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on one hand on record calling for peace ahead of elections, his party on the other hand has been on the offensive perpetrating violence against political opponents.

It is against this background that Heal Zimbabwe calls on political parties to inculcate a new political culture among their supporters that underscores the need for peace and political tolerance.

It is Heal Zimbabwe’s view that tolerance and pluralism are principles central to the attainment of peace and also form core pillars of democracy.

In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe implores the police to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law without fear, favour or bias in compliance with section 219 of the Constitution and arrest all perpetrators of the Kwekwe violence.

Heal Zimbabwe also implores political parties to rein in errant supporters who perpetrate violence.

Independent commissions supporting democracy such as the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission that are funded through taxpayers money must fulfil their constitutional obligations and work to support and entrench human rights and democracy in compliance with section 233 of the Constitution.- Heal Zimbabwe