The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum unreservedly condemn the violence perpetrated by government supporters on the marchers for peace.
The Forum also condemn the Zimbabwe Republic Police for allowing an armed mob into the centre of town where the mob was able to inflict injury and terror both upon the marchers and innocent bystanders. This is not the first time that the ZRP has shown a reluctance to enforce the law or to follow the direction of the courts and such reluctance can only be seen as condoning violence.
The Forum therefore calls upon the President, the Government, and all political parties to refrain from all hate speech and expressions of violence in the run up to the elections. We note that the campaign to date has been marked by continuing expressions of hate and violence, and that unless all political parties and candidates work to control the violence themselves, it can only escalate.
The Forum also calls upon the ZRP to undertake their duties under the law without favour and to ensure that all citizens remain within the law at all times. Furthermore we call upon the police to ensure that all persons who indulge in hate speech or who advocate or perpetrate violence are prosecuted within the existing law.
Finally, the Forum calls upon all civic and church groups to associate themselves with this statement and to come together in a combined effort to ensure peace during the elections. The Forum believes that it is especially important for the churches to be taking a leading role in the movement for peace in Zimbabwe .