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Minimum conditions for free, fair and peaceful elections from the
view of survivors of political violence in Buhera
February 21, 2013
On Friday, 15
February, survivors of all forms of politically motivated violence
in Buhera district thronged Bishop Matsinde's homestead for
a district survivor summit. In attendance where more than 200 people
who included church leaders, traditional leaders, councillors and
survivors of political violence. The summit was held at Bishop Matsinde's
homestead of the Majestic Holy church who is also a Heal Zimbabwe
community mediator and member of Heal Zimbabwe peace committee in
gave an insight into the objectives of the survivor summit. Three
Pastors from various churches, including Bishop Matsinde took to
the stand sharing words of encouragement with the survivors of violence.
The pastors emphasised on the need for the survivors to forgive
the perpetrators and take a leading role in promoting peace and
tolerance in the community. The preachers concurred that survivors
of political violence should find it in their hearts to forgive
those who wronged them thus contributing towards building a peaceful
Zimbabwe. The pastors urged the survivors to love their enemies
and encouraged them to pray for peace in the country especially
now as the country heads towards elections.
HZT staff took time to explain chapter 12 of the draft
constitution to the survivors which comprises of independent commissions,
the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Human Rights Commission,
Gender Commission, Media Commission and their importance to them.
The survivors were encouraged to exercise their rights by participating
in the constitutional referendum. Survivors of political violence
then aired out their minimum demands for the holding of free, fair
and peaceful elections. Below are the points raised by the delegates.
Summary of minimum
conditions for free and fair elections from the view of survivors
of political violence:
and International peacekeepers should come six months before elections
and leave 6 months after elections in order to protect the electorate
from political violence.
sector reforms should be implemented before any call for elections.
- All members
of the army should reside in army barracks and should desist from
moving around villages, victimising civilians.
- There should
be media reforms before any call for elections where hate speech
is banned and all political parties given equal share to campaign
in all the media spaces in the country.
of the police should be impartial in conducting their duties and
should stop the arbitrary arrests of political activists.
- The Member
in Charge of the Buhera police post, Dispol Muguti who is a war
veteran should be removed immediately from the police station
as he is partisan and harassing all non ZANU PF supporters.
- Wives of
police officers who were given police force numbers because they
support ZANU PF at Buhera Police station without undergoing training
should not be allowed to operate as police officers in the area.
- All the
political bases that are being revived by ZANU PF youth should
be banned forthwith.
- All political
parties should be allowed to campaign freely without harassment
from the police or other rowdy members of certain political parties.
and regional observers should come from all around the world not
to be cherry picked.
leaders should not be partisan in conducting their duties.
- The regional
and international observers should take action after noting any
human rights violations rather than just producing reports with
no action to protect the electorate.
- The Government
food distribution exercise should not be done in a partisan basis.
- Members of
the uniformed forces should not be cohesed into voting while putting
on their uniforms but should be allowed to vote freely from home
in their civilians clothes.
- Those who
cannot write, the elderly and the physically challenged should
choose whom they want to assist them in voting not to be forced
to get assistance from the police or election agents.
- Members of
the uniformed forces who want to join politics should first resign
then join politics later rather than taking advantage of their
posts to force people to vote for them.
- All perpetrators
of political violence should be brought to book before any call
- The Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission (ZEC) should employ new people as its secretariat
not the current partisan one which deliberately delayed the 2008
- Mr Tobaiwa
Mudede, the registrar general should be fired, as he is responsible
for tempering with the voting records of 2008 in favour of ZANU
- The mobile
voter registration exercise should be accessible to all those
who want to register to vote.
- People should
be allowed to vote at any polling station of their choice rather
than having designated polling stations where they are subjected
to victimisation and harassment.
- All outstanding
issues to the GPA
should be fulfilled first before any call for elections in Zimbabwe.
results should be released 24hours after the voting process.
- ZEC should
use up to-date technology in order to ensure election results
are released on time.
- If ever
there are any reports of political violence before the election
date, the elections should be stopped forthwith.
- All those
vying for the post of Presidency in the upcoming elections should
be given one public platform to explain to the public what they
intend to do for the country if elected as President like what
is happening in other countries for example Kenya.
- All those
who lost their sources of livelihoods, livestock, property should
be reparated by the Government and the perpetrators before any
call for elections.
- Civil servants
should be allowed to support political parties of their choices
rather than having their salaries deducted for supporting a certain
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