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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • ZPP Monthly Monitor – April 2013
    Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP)
    May 25, 2013

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    Executive Summary

    The resounding success of the COPAC driven constitutional referendum held on 16 March 2013 set the stage for the holding of hallmark elections that will lead to the death of the four and half years old inclusive government in Zimbabwe. The three major political parties in the inclusive government did not waste time in launching their political party campaigns in preparation for the watershed elections resulting in an increase in incidents of politically motivated violence.

    There were 519 violations recorded during the month of April a jump from the 382 witnessed during the month of March. The MDC-T immediately launched its door to door campaigns across the country while Zanu PF continued with its voter registration drive targeting 1 million first time voters.

    As a result of the door to door campaigns and the voter registration drive 19 residents were arrested in Harare’s Hatcliffe on April 25, 2013 and charged with contravening Section 179 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly impersonating public officials. Police officers claimed that the residents who were wearing T-shirts usually worn by officials from the Ministry Home Affairs had three copies of the voters’ roll and between 18 to 25 April 2013 went around the high density suburb asking other residents to check and confirm if their names were noted on the voters roll and advising them to register to vote if their names were missing. The police charged that the 19 residents misrepresented themselves as officials from the Registrar General’s office.

    The voter registration exercise provided a fresh source of conflict as Zanu PF’s Mashonaland East leadership accused the MDC-T of tampering with the voters’ roll. State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi who is also the Zanu PF secretary for security claimed last month that they had unearthed massive irregularities on the voters’ roll where suspected MDC-T officials registered their supporters using other people’s addresses and unoccupied, condemned hostels.

    The internal party fight between Zanu PF and the MDC-T continued during the month as politicians fight to represent their respective parties in the forthcoming general elections. Zanu PF’s intra-party fights intensified in Manicaland with some top party stalwarts accusing party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa of fanning divisions within the party. Mutasa is being accused of interfering with grass-root structures - alleged conduct they described as likely to “disrupt preparations for the forthcoming harmonized elections”. The same could also be said for the MDC-T in Manicaland as the party’s provincial executive is divided over the selection of candidates to stand in the forthcoming elections. Close to a 100 MDC-T supporters on last month picketed their party provincial offices in Mutare demonstrating against the disqualification of Mutasa South parliamentary candidate Regai Tsunga. The divisions within the MDC-T in Manicaland also manifested themselves through the fight between former Daily News Editor and aspiring MDC-T MP Geoffrey Nyarota and Makoni South MP Pishai Muchauraya. Nyarota is accusing the sitting MP of threatening to kill him.

    About six Hurungwe traditional chiefs from Mashonaland West allegedly petitioned President Robert Mugabe asking him to sack Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka on allegations of disregarding traditional customs and stealing presidential inputs. Mahoka is a survivor of intra-party political violence after a group of youths allegedly led by Themba Mliswa assaulted her in February 2013.

    A group of former liberation war fighters led by Retired Army Captain David Juro allegedly compiled a document alleging internal strife, candidate imposition and meddling by the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) in Zanu PF Midlands Provincial politics ahead of the elections.

    The month under review was also marred with reports of defections and counter defections as the political parties moved to showcase their alleged and perceived growing support bases ahead of the polls. The defections were mainly reported from the southern provinces of the country with reported defections within the two MDC formations.

    The Independence Day celebrations had their fair share of violations across the country as villagers were forced to contribute towards the celebrations. This year’s celebrations were however held in a relatively peaceful manner with political party supporters from across the political spectrum attending. Villagers from Mashonaland East were ordered to donate US$2 or 5kg of maize meal towards the celebrations.

    War veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda allegedly threatened political violence while addressing a public lecture at Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) on April 9, 2013. Sibanda likened MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to the devil accusing him of sabotaging the country.

    The police from Masvingo on Wednesday 24 April 2013 prohibited the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions from staging a procession on Wednesday 1 May 2013 in commemoration of Workers Day. The ZCTU had written to the police notifying them of their intention to hold a procession from Craft Centre to Mucheke Stadium, where the labour union would commemorate the Workers Day festivities in Masvingo Province. But the police turned down the ZCTU procession and ordered them to confine themselves to just gathering at Mucheke Stadium adding that the Zimbabwe Republic Police could not sanction the procession “due to security reasons”.

    During the month under review the country witnessed very few incidents (27) of food and other forms aid violations which were only concentrated in the Midlands Province. This could be attributed to the fact that this is the period when farmers would be harvesting their crops and do not require any additional sources of aid.

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