Inter-party violence escalates, as party appear unable to urge restraint

Victimisation and intimidation on the basis of one’s political affiliation continue to be commonplace in Zimbabwe. Leaders of political parties and high level Government officials have failed to encourage tolerance amongst their supporters. Instead, statements have been made that overtly foster prejudices and violate the right to freedom of association.

In Gutu North (MASVINGO PROVINCE), Vice President, Joseph Msika was reported as having labelled MDC supporters as “sell-outs, sponsored stooges and anti-revolutionaries” addressed villagers at Zvavahera Business Centre. Ngoni Mudzamiri asserts that he was abducted from Matizha Shopping Centre in Gutu North by ZANU PF youths in a truck.

He was reportedly hauled into the back of the truck, driven around the constituency and beaten all over the body along the way. He alleges that the assailants later took him to Mupandawana where he was beaten until he fell unconscious. He was apparently attacked because he was wearing a MDC t-shirt. HK, MDC Murehwa South District Coordinator, and his brother AK, allege that there were attacked at home by ZANU PF youths on the basis of their political affiliation with the MDC. The youths were reportedly moving about in a truck with the inscription “ZANU PF MASHONALAND EAST”.

The Human Rights Forum condemns the lack of any concerted effort on the part of Zimbabwean political parties to dissuade their members and/ supporters from engaging in acts of violence against each other on the basis of opposing political opinions. Furthermore we view the making of statements that fan violence by political leaders as unacceptable in a democratic society.

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