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Political environment in Zimbabwe update - Week ending 25 January 2013
Heal Zimbabwe Trust
January 24, 2013

Province and District The General Environment General Political Atmosphere

Tense There are reported cases of politicisation of teaching posts at the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture offices in Gokwe Nembudziya. Reports are that all the aspiring temporary teachers who went for interviews on the 3rd of January 2013 were shocked when some of the interview questions required them to know the full names of top ZANU PF leadership in Gokwe. All those who failed to accurately name the leadership even if they had the required qualifications failed to secure the job. The Secretary General for Progressive Teachers Union, Mr Raymond Majongwe condemned the exercise and stated that it is not only in Gokwe where this unprofessional exercise is taking place but that his organisation has received similar reports in many teachers colleges countrywide. He bemoaned that such barbaric behaviour compromises the quality of education in Zimbabwe. Mr Majongwe highlighted further that the calibre of those employed using this method are politically compromised, as they are positioned to undertake and pursue ZANU PF political interests instead of carrying out their duties in an apolitical, transparent and professional manner.

In another case, there are reports that on the 17th of January 2013, Mr John Mudita from ward 13 in Nembudziya was assaulted by suspected ZANU PF supporters led by the ward 13 headman, Mr Magadzire. The assault came after Mr Mudita and few others in the area received 50kg bags of maize from a well wisher which the perpetrators failed to receive. This led to accusations that Mr Mudita had received the donations because he was an MDC supporter, accusations which the victim denied. The perpetrators suggested to the victim that they all share the maize, a suggestion which was turned down by the latter leading to the assault. He was assaulted all over the body with baton sticks and open fists. Mr Mudita sustained open cuts on his face and also suffered a broken arm. The case was reported to the local police but no arrests have been made yet. The victim is currently receiving treatment at a hospital in Kadoma.

Mashonaland Central
Tense There are cases of assault, intimidation and harassment that have been reported in Chaona. It is reported that suspected ZANU PF youths are moving around terrorising villagers in the community pouncing on any suspected anti-ZANU PF supporter. They are mainly targeting those wearing civil society t-shirts or any t-shirt from any other party which is not ZANU PF. On 19 January, an unidentified man who disembarked a bus coming from Harare was severely assaulted for wearing a ZimRights t-shirt inscribed with the message "Ngozi Haiteveri Akutuma, Inotevera Iwe" loosely translated to avenging spirits haunt the killer not the sender.
Mashonaland Central
Tense In Chiweshe, there are reports that Chief Negomo is harassing and intimidating villagers at his traditional Court located at Gweshe Business Centre. It is alleged that the traditional Chief is attending his court sessions clad in ZANU PF attire. This is in contravention of the Traditional Leaders Act which discourages traditional leaders from engaging in any partisan activities. Reports are that during the court sessions, Chief Negomo opens the first session with a ZANU PF slogan and everyone present from any political party should respond accurately. This has resulted in villagers living in fear of violence especially as the country approach national elections.
Mashonaland East
Tense There are allegations in Mudzi that on the 12th of January, some members of the army went around harassing villagers in Nyamapanda village, carrying out an unsanctioned census. It is alleged that the soldiers claimed that the census was meant to give them an up to date data base of ZANU PF supporters. The exercise was designed to isolate those supporting other political parties. The exercise resulted in everyone openly declaring their allegiance to ZANU PF party. The harassment and intimidation are unacceptable especially as the referendum and the national elections are fast approaching.

In another case in Kotwa, the organising secretary for MDC T in ward 10, Mr Samuel Helegwa had his flea market stand located at Kotwa Growth Point forcefully taken by ZANU PF supporters for allegedly attending an MDC meeting on the 18th of January. Mr Helegwa tried to repossess his flea market stand by reporting the case to the police but up to now the police have not intervened to resolve the issue.

Zaka West

Moderate There are reports of assault and intimidation in Zaka West. It is reported that two MDC supporters, Judah Rimai and Simbarashe Rimai who are brothers were assaulted by ZANU PF supporters on the 5th of January. The assault came after the two were accused of wearing MDC T-shirts at Jerera Growth Point on the 4th of January. The victims sustained minor injuries as a result of the attack. The case was reported to JOMIC which responded by sending a delegation on the 15th of the same month to try and resolve the conflict. The JOMIC team is yet to announce the results of their findings after they met both the victims and the perpetrators.

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