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Political environment in Zimbabwe update - Week ending 10 February 2013
Heal Zimbabwe Trust
February 14, 2013

Province and District The General Environment General Political Atmosphere
Mashonaland Central
Guruve North
Tense It has been reported that ZANU PF youths on 26 January went on a rampage forcing people to attend a meeting at Bvochora business centre in Guruve North, Ward 6. The meeting was convened by a war veteran only identified as Mondo who addressed the meeting threatening people with violence if they do not vote for ZANU PF in the upcoming elections. He threatened Nomatter Dzveta an MDC aspiring councillor in ward 6 with unspecified action if he ever contest in the scheduled elections.

The same war veteran Mr. Mondo went ahead on the same day to hold another meeting in ward 19 and again threatened the villagers with unspecified action if ever they vote for any other political party which is not ZANU PF in the imminent elections. Both incidences were reported to JOMIC which promised to meet representatives of all political parties in Guruve North to discuss the issue.

There are reports of unfair distribution of food aid in ward 4, Negomo village, Guruve North. It is alleged that the Councillor for the ward, Mr Kafungura is distributing maize on partisan basis. The grain being distributed under the Government Maguta grain loan scheme is meant to benefit anyone in need regardless of political affiliation but the councillor in question is only distributing the maize to ZANU PF supporters only.

Mashonaland Central
Tense There are reports of intimidation and harassment in Maungaunga village ward 2, in Muzarabani. It is alleged that ZANU PF officials are subjecting potential voters into a vetting exercise where only those carrying ZANU PF party cards are allowed to register and vote. The illegal vetting exercise is happening at a mobile office situated at Hoya clinic. All those failing to produce the party cards are being turned away.

In another report, there are allegations that a retired soldier identified as Hamunyari Kamusengezi has set up a base at Muzarabani Community Hall located at the business centre where he is harassing and intimidating anyone he suspects that he/she is new in the area. It is alleged that the soldier set up the base to restrict new people from gaining access to Muzarabani district especially now as the country heads for elections claiming that the "visitors" negatively influence the electorate.

There are also reports that ZANU PF supporters have introduced night vigils in Kairezi village in Muzarabani. The night vigils were launched on Saturday 9 February in ward 23 at a homestead belonging to Mr Kasuwa an MDC supporter. The ZANU PF group was led by the ward 23 councillor, Mr. Amon Mavedzenge and a group of youths who spent the whole night singing intimidating songs. They forcefully entered the victim's homestead confisticated his groceries and destroyed all his crops and only left in the morning after threatening him with death if he does not surrender his party affiliation before the next elections. The perpetrators highlighted that the campaign is an ongoing exercise meant to uproot all MDC supporters in Muzarabani.

Mashonaland East
Mudzi North
Tense There are also reports of resurgence of political bases in ward 2, Mukota village, Mudzi North. Reports are that ZANU PF youths are meeting every Friday for night vigils from 6pm- 6am at Chimbodza Primary School. It is alleged that after the vigil, the youths go around growth points victimising villagers and threatening business owners with unspecified action if ZANU PF does not win the forthcoming elections.

There are also reports of harassment and intimidation in ward 9, Mukota C village, Mudzi North. It is alleged that the ward councillor, Mr Aloise Kambambaira and the village head, Mr. Chatima, have been moving around villages collecting names and identification particulars of unregistered voters and bringing back slips to show that they are now registered voters. All those who have fallen victim are being told to vote for ZANU PF and failure to do so they will be evacuated from the area. They are also being threatened that their names are now with ZANU leadership and their votes will not be a secret anymore so they should make sure they vote for ZANU PF.

Moderate It has been reported that a soldier from the 4 Brigade identified as Mr Jeremiah Masiya is terrorising people in ward 4, Chiredzi East threatening MDC supporters with a repeat of the 2008 political violence if they do not vote for ZANU PF in the elections expected this year.
Tense There are reports of harassment and intimidation in Buhera where a war veteran identified as Mr. Zinzombe convened a meeting on the 9th of February and addressed those present highlighting that they should all vote for ZANU PF, failure to do so will result in war in the country. The man went on to undress and showed the people present scars he allegedly sustained during the liberation struggle.

Tense It has been reported that on Thursday, 7 February, police in riot gear disrupted an MDC ward executive meeting at Era shopping centre, Inyati Mine, Ward 8 in Headlands and arrested Kingston Chitauro. Mr Chitauro was detained for four days and only granted bail on Monday 11 February and he will be back to court on the 2nd of March. Ironically, ZANU PF held two rallies at the same venue on Tuesday, 5 February and Sunday, 10 February led by Mr Dickson Hwecha without any disruptions from the police.

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