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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Desist from violence and intimidation: Parties told
    Youth Forum
    July 17, 2013

    "They were all dressed in the party’s regalia and they were standing by the doorstep asking for everyone who was in the house to get ready and go for the rally which was being held at Chibuku Stadium in Chitungwiza. The ‘invitation’ was accompanied by threats and we leant that we had to attend the rally or face action. We had to leave whatever we were doing to attend the rally." A disgruntled Chitungwiza resident who attended the Zanu-PF rally that was held on Tuesday remarked. There were reports that markets were forcibly closed and people were frog marched to the rally. There were similar complaints on Monday in Marondera and Highfields. On Sartuday the same happened in Mbare where marketers had to lose their markets and attend Joyce Mujuru’s rally which had an attendance of over 7000 people. In rural areas like Zaka, Masvingo headmen are reportedly forcing people to attend rallies.

    The two parties, MDC-T and Zanu-PF are being involved in several political violence scandals in a bid to quash all forms of opposition. According to a local paper, there were widespread political skirmishes with the latest being clashes in Epworth where six Zanu-PF supporters were admitted at Parirenyatwa Hospital after they were attacked by suspected MDC-T supporters, in Buhera North, Manicaland, where 10 huts belonging to MDC-T supporters were burnt while seven homesteads belonging to Zanu-PF members were attacked.

    However, there are several reports on Zanu-PF’s coercion of people to attend their rallies. The common Zimbabweans are at an unease moment as they patiently wait for the elections to be held and get over with. People are being coerced to attend party rallies and intimidation is the order of the day. The poor residents of every community where there will be Zanu-PF rallies are left with no choice but to attend the party rallies in fear of victimization.

    It goes without saying that political violence is being restated in 2013. Young unemployed people have once again occupied themselves with the party campaigns as they are being used as the drivers of intimidation and violence.

    Meanwhile, the special vote has been extended due to the failure of hundreds of people including the civil servants and the police to cast their votes at the close of polling on Monday due to logistical problems. The just ended special vote was jam-packed with chaos and disillusionment as thousands of people failed to cast their votes. The special vote was created to accommodate those who would be deployed on the normal voting day and there were 87 000 applications which were returned to ZEC.

    Zimbabweans are now filled with uncertainty and seem to discredit the upcoming elections considering that the special vote of less than 100 000 people was marred by chaos. Furthermore, freedom of choice is being snatched away from Zimbabweans as they cannot liberally support the party of their choice without fear.

    Political parties should stop intimidation and violence and concentrate on presenting their talking points about policy issues. It is the right of every Zimbabwean to choose the parties and leaders that they want.

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