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Minimum conditions for free and fair elections from the view of
survivors of political violence in Zaka
February 12, 2013
The 2013 National
Elections in Zimbabwe should be monitored by the International and
Regional community just like what happened in the 1980 elections
when Zimbabwe gained its Independence.... Mr Zanga airing his contribution
during a public interface meeting organised by HZT in Zaka.
of political violence gathered in ward 13, Zaka on the 10th
of February where they took time to reflect on the psychological,
physical and social injuries they have suffered in the past years.
They also took the opportunity through HZT facilitation to deliberate
on their minimum demands and expectations for elections which are
scheduled to take place this year. HZT is running a campaign dubbed,
Mathew 5vs 9: "Blessed are the Peacemakers" aimed at promoting
a culture of peace and tolerance as the country heads for watershed
elections. The campaign targets communities in some of the hot spots
districts in Zimbabwe which recorded highest cases of political
violence during the 2008 political violence namely Zaka, Gokwe,
Buhera and Muzarabani.
The program was attended by traditional leaders, church leaders,
political leaders in the area, and 210 victims of political violence.
The survivors of political violence took turns to air their views
on minimum conditions for the holding of violent free, fair and
transparent elections. All the demands from the four-targeted areas
will be collated and submitted to three principals of the Inclusive
Government in a niche to continue pressuring them to guarantee
that the heinous activities associated with elections in Zimbabwe
will never again be repeated. The minimum conditions are expectations
of victims they want implemented first for them to freely participate
in the scheduled elections.
During the meeting, Elder Jaricha of the Apostolic Faith Mission
preached on the need for survivors of violence to take it in their
hearts to forgive those who perpetrated violence against them. He
also urged the participants to remain steadfast as they soldier
on for the realisation of their goals which made them victims in
the first place.
staff then took the participants through the political developments
in the country, the endorsement of the draft
constitution by Parliament
and what it means to the survivors of political violence. The HZT
team also gave those present insight into the provisions in the
new constitution of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission
and its significance on peace building efforts in the country. He
also urged survivors of violence and torture to actively participate
in the forthcoming referendum and harmonised elections as it is
their right to participate in democratic processes. Delegates were
encouraged to exercise tolerance during the forthcoming elections
in order to achieve free, fair and peaceful elections.
then gave testimonies of the different forms of political violence
they have encountered over the years. By speaking publicly and openly
about the human rights violations they have encountered over the
years, it enabled them to go through a therapeutic transformation
by sharing their past encounters with others who have faced more
or less victimisation. They then took turns to air their minimum
conditions for free, fair and peaceful elections. The survivors
of political violence vowed non-participation in the upcoming elections
if their demands are not met.
Summary of minimum
conditions for free and fair elections from the view of survivors
of political violence:
- All political
parties should be allowed to campaign freely without being intimidated
- All survivors
of any form of political violence should be given full access
to medical facilities as a matter of urgency.
- All those
campaigning for either a yes/no vote during the constitutional
referendum should be allowed to do so peacefully. No one should
be victimised for either voting yes/no in the referendum.
- The 2013
national elections in Zimbabwe should be monitored by the International
and Regional community just like what happened in the 1980 elections
when Zimbabwe gained its Independence.
of the police and the army should not be allowed to interfere
with the election process in any way, if there is need for security
it should be provided by the UN standby force.
of political violence should not be coerced into supporting a
certain political party like what happened in the June 2008 election
and International monitors and observers should be in the country
6 months before and 6 months after the election period in order
to reduce cases of violence on the electorate.
should reparate all survivors of political violence who lost their
sources of livelihoods due to political violence before any call
- All those
who had their livestock confiscated during the 2008 political
violence should be compensated by the political parties responsible
before any call for elections.
- The Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission should be led by a new secretariat not the
one which was in charge during the 2008 chaos.
- ZEC should
make sure there are no delays in announcing election results like
what happened in 2008.
- People who
are differently abled should be assisted by a person of their
choice in the voting booth and there should be no other election
official close by including any member of the police.
- Civil society
organisations should attend political rallies and record all forms
of hate speech promulgated at rallies, as people are being threatened
and harassed at such political gatherings.
leaders should desist from openly supporting any political party
and should be barred from forcing people to attend political rallies.
- Civil society
organisations should set up district centres in order to monitor
cases of political violence and should be ready to swiftly rescue
victims of political violence in case there is an outbreak of
- Youth officers
under the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment should
desist from harassing communities. These youth officers should
not be allowed to become election officials during the forthcoming
elections as they have openly displayed that they are partisan.
- All perpetrators
of political violence should be arrested before the next round
of elections and justice should prevail on all those who perpetrated
criminal activities during the past elections.
- All those
who perpetrated political violence during the previous elections
should openly ask for forgiveness as well as restitute the people
of different political parties should heed their Principals'
call for non violent campaigns and should stop intimidating other
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