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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Monthly Monitor – August 2013
Peace Project (ZPP)
August 31, 2013
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The month of
August was packed with activities following the holding of the harmonised
elections on July 31, 2013. During the month under review the
country witnessed the announcement of the winners of the elections,
the Heroes’ Day celebrations, the winning Zanu-PF celebrations,
the inauguration of President Robert Mugabe and the election court
challenges from the MDC-T. Further, the country co-hosted
the UNTWO with Zambia.
The July 31
harmonised elections were declared as free and peaceful and that
they were a reflection of the will of the people of Zimbabwe in
preliminary reports by several observer missions including
SADC, AU, and the Chinese. To some, the elections proved that Africa
(Zimbabwe in particular) has out lived the ghosts of election violence,
human rights abuse and that the July 31 elections can be the template
for other countries in the region on how to conduct elections.
The trend observed
over the year has been that human rights violations usually rise
two months before the election, decrease during the election month
and only to escalate soon after the election. The post-election
retribution thus is directly felt a month or the period directly
after the elections. This trend continued to play out and violations
did not rise that much across the country in August when compared
to July. With a total of 525 incidents having been recorded compared
to 496 witnessed in July 2013. Manicaland recorded the highest number
of violations, 120, followed by Mashonaland Central with 87, Midlands
with 82. Matabeleland South and Bulawayo had the least violations
recording 5 and 7 cases respectively.
but nagging issue that came after the election that may have far
reaching consequences for citizens is the conduct through some pronouncements
made by Zanu-PF winning candidates and some traditional leaders.
President Mugabe led the discord when in one of his graveside speeches
(Mike Karakadzai’s burial) he disowned Harare and Bulawayo
for not voting for him during the elections.
President was not alone as other winning candidates from his party
such as Joseph Chinotimba, MP for Buhera South threatened MDC-T
members with severe suffering since he is now “panyanga”
-in control- in a speech on heroes day at Murove village. Chinotimba
is alleged to have said that he will never work or assist any MDC-T
member and that Zanu-PF was “chiranga mapenzi” (disciplinarian
of villains). The period under review witnessed a rise in the number
of post-election violence. A large number of people were displaced
and others were threatened with evictions for allegedly voting wrongly.
Sadly, one person died in Mashonaland East under yet unclear circumstances.
An MDC-T activist was found dead on the 9th August 2013 near Two
Boys Shopping Centre in a suspected case of political violence.
The incident happened in Marondera East Constituency, Masemela village,
ward 20. Before his death, just a week before harmonized elections,
the deceased had reportedly told his parents that his life was in
danger after being threatened by a named Zanu-PF activist with death
if Zanu-PF won the elections since no one will be arrested for the
act as he will enjoy protection and impunity.
All the Mashonaland
Provinces, Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands witnessed cases of
displacements targeting MDC-T candidates and their election agents.
Harare, being the most affected with thirty-five incidents, followed
by Mashonaland Central with eighteen cases. Cases of malicious damage
to property also rose as a number of houses belonging to MDC-T members
were set on fire or destroyed by suspected Zanu-PF supporters.
and in Mbare’s Matererina, Nenyere, Magaba, Manyame and Tagarika
flats more than nine families were evicted from the houses and others
were threatened with eviction for supporting MDC-T by Zanu-PF supporters.
In Headlands, Manicaland, four families were displaced on the 13th
of August after a group of Zanu-PF activists on their way from attending
Didymus Mutasa’s birthday bash visited their homes in ward
8- Inyati demanding that they leave the area. In Rushinga and Mt
Darwin (Mash Central) 18 families found themselves displaced accused
of being either MDC-T election agents or supporters.
leaders remained in the forefront of acting partisan and violating
their constitutional mandate of being neutral and non partisan in
their work. Reports show that during the period under review, traditional
leaders such as Chief Mahenye from Chipinge South for example summarily
dethroned 22 village heads whom he accused of allowing their subjects
to vote for MDC-T during elections which caused Zanu-PF to lose
the ward. In Gutu North, at Makumbe village ward 12 on 28 August
the village head chased away an MDC-T member from a GMB food distribution
scheme saying he should go and get food from the MDC-T. The village
head categorically told him that he and other MDC-T activists will
never get food as long as Zanu-PF is in power. In Insiza South (Mat
South) on the 19th of August all kraal heads for ward 4 were called
by Headman Maputo to be told how they would operate with the winning
Zanu-PF councillor Lawrence Maphosa whose home stead is situated
in Insiza North ward 15.
With the dire
food situation, in some areas however, very few cases of partisan
distribution and access to food were reported mainly due to the
fact that food relief activities had been suspended in the period
leading up to the elections. However, the country faces serious
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