THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says it has sent an appeal to Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and African Union (AU) and will also lobby international organisations to intervene on political violence as the country heads for polls in July or August this year.
Speaking to NewsDay, CCC spokesperson Fadzai Mahere said after violent beatings of their party members in Murewa recently and arrest of 25 activists in Budiriro, the opposition party was taking action to stop violence being perpetrated by the ruling Zanu PF party on its members.
“As CCC, we are taking measures to protect our supporters in line with political violence perpetrated by Zanu PF members. We have seen the latest incidents in Budiriro and Murewa. Political violence is on the increase, and we would like to urge the police to do their work in line with the law and not to be used to suit the Zanu PF agenda.
“We also want to warn Chapter 12 Commissions, including the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to do their work in accordance with the Constitution which compels them to protect citizens from violence. We have written dossiers to them on the prevailing political violence in the country,” Mahere said.
“We also wrote to the Sadc and AU, to ensure would-be election observers know what is happening so they can warn Zanu PF that violence is against Sadc guidelines on elections. We also have peace teams that will be protecting change champions whenever they have meetings around the country. We believe these measures will help protect CCC members and reduce incidents of violent polls.”
Asked to comment on the issue, Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Daniel Garwe said: “I am on leave”.
Efforts to get comments from Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa were also fruitless.
Last month, a group of elderly CCC members that were gathered for a meeting at the homestead of one of their members in Murewa were beaten up and tortured by suspected Zanu PF supporters.
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Political analysts have predicted bloody elections this year.