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statement on recent incidents of political violence
Peace Project (ZPP)
September 09, 2011
Peace Project is appalled by the ongoing use of violence and brutal
attacks on members of the public during national events by organised
groups from political parties. What is also shocking has been the
failure by the police to respond timeously and arrest all those
responsible for causing the violence, which was and continues to
be publicised in the media.
Since July this
year, ZPP has noticed an ongoing trend of people taking it upon
themselves to disrupt important national events. A group of Zanu
PF youths violently disrupted
a public hearing on the Human
Rights Bill, physically attacking a member of parliament and
journalists in the process.
Political Agreement (GPA) speaks of free participation in national
events where in the preamble the political leaders clearly state
that " . . . respecting our constitution, rule of law, national
institutions, symbols and events, and the rights of all Zimbabweans
to benefit from and participate freely in national programmes and
But the recent
violence that occurred during the official opening of the fourth
session of the 7th parliament by President Robert Mugabe in central
Harare is a clear reflection on the lack of political will by some
elements in the inclusive
government to bring back the rule of law. The opening of Parliament
is a national event, and therefore there is no reason why other
people should not participate based on political differences. The
use of violence at many political events is a calculated attempt
to ensure that people are afraid to participate in issues that affect
their daily lives.
that rocked Machipisa Shopping Centre in Highfield, has no doubt
left many families more impoverished and poorer as those who were
affected are mostly women. The women are the ones who have been
operating market stalls at Mukambo Market striving to feed their
families day in and day out.
This kind of
violence does not emerge in a vacuum. It is a well orchestrated
plan to intimidate the people of Zimbabwe through the use of organised
groups such as Zanu PF's Chipangano in Mbare and the various
youth militia groups spread across the country.
attacks must not be downplayed as mere episodes in a game of tit-for-tat
between Zanu PF and the MDC-T supporters. There is absolutely no
justification for deliberate and violent attacks on innocent civilians
by organised and known institutions of violence in Zimbabwe.
have failed to arrest not even a single culprit since the events
of July 23 on the flimsy excuse that they were not prepared. This
has clearly led to the entrenchment of the culture of impunity among
most and would be perpetrators of political violence. ZPP calls
on the police to fulfill their constitutional mandate in ensuring
that all the perpetrators of violence are brought to justice.
Peace Project appeals to the leaders of political parties in this
country to go beyond just making public statements denouncing violence
and rather they should take sterner actions against their party
members responsible for spearheading political violence. We strongly
believe that it is within the power of the politicians and Zimbabweans
at large to contribute to stopping the on-going violence.
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