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Political violence surges; Zimbabwe not ready for elections
Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe
February 08, 2011

Political violence perpetrated against members of the public particularly members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai shows that the country is not yet ready for elections. The outbreak of violence and looting of small businesses in the Central Business District in Harare by ZANU PF supporters bused in from Mbare and other peri-urban farms in Harare South and West shows that the country is not yet ready for elections.

The outbreak of violence in Mbare and the intimidation of Harare civic leaders and MDC supporters in the rural areas is a well-orchestrated attempt by the ZANU PF regime to cow people into submission ahead of the planned elections.

We call upon the Inclusive government to reign in State security agents who are reneging on their duty to protect people from misguided and bloodthirsty thugs. The looting of property and small businesses in Harare all in the name of politics does not help our economy which is struggling to recover from a decade of neglect and bad governance.

The failure by police to protect defenceless citizens from marauding ZANU PF party activists is a serious indictment on the inclusive government. We call upon the State authorities particularly Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner to ensure that the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) conduct their duties in a professional manner as spelled out in the Police Service Charter.

We note with concern the failure by police to investigate reported cases of political violence and the arrest of victims of violence instead of the perpetrators. The violence is perpetrated with impunity by known youth militia and other entities aligned to the ZANU PF party.

We call upon the Unity government to fulfill the provisions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).We specifically demand the following;

  • An investigation by a committee of Parliament into the ongoing violence and arrest of those politicians who are sponsoring these disturbances. We ask parliament to investigate the conduct of war veteran Jabulani Sibanda in Masvingo province, Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba in Manicaland province and other public officials who have been linked with political violence and intimidation of political opposition.
  • That the Co-ministers of Home affairs Madam Theresa Makone and Mr Kembo Mohadi must denounce violence and re-assure the nation that ZRP is still a national professional police force and not an extension of ZANU PF.
  • That the MDC parties as critical partners in the unity government should not agree to the ZANU PF agenda of an early snap election without without key reforms. These reforms include but are not limited to: a democratic Constitution; a clean and up-to-date voter's roll; equal access to public media (television and radio) by all political contestants; demilitarization of State institutions including recalling soldiers who have been deployed to the countryside to campaign for one of the political parties and an agreed to criteria for demarcation of constituency boundaries to discourage gerrymandering.
  • Repeal of unjust laws such as the Public Order and Security Act, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Interception of Communications Act which deny Zimbabweans their fundamental rights of freedom of association, assembly and expression.

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