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Inter-party violence after council elections, civilians victimised | Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Inter-party violence after council elections, civilians victimised

In September 2003, politically motivated violence was largely perpetrated in the follow up to the Urban Council Elections held on 30/31 August 2003. There were reports that civilians were victimised and intimidated, based on the victory of either the opposition MDC or the ruling ZANU PF in the Elections.

For example, EM, DN, and TM, MDC supporters from Chitungwiza (HARARE PROVINCE) were reportedly assaulted by Zanu PF youths at their homes. The assailants were purportedly.celebrating the ZANU PF victory in the Urban Council Elections. They allegedly forced TM to chant the ZANU PF slogan and attacked the other two with clenched fists and booted feet. In Mutare Central (MANICALAND PROVINCE), Cecilia Gambe (former ZANU PF Councillor), asserts that Pamela, Fungai, Billiard, Gertrude Sithole, Fortune Chishakwe, John Manikai, James Manikai, Alice Manikai, and a Mrs Manikai of the opposition MDC stoned her home, injured her on the head and destroyed property worth about Z$600 000 following the victory of the opposition MDC in the Urban Council Elections.

In Mutare Central, Cyril Nzero, MDC Councillor elect, claims that ZRP officers arrested him when he had gone to visit the nine MDC supporters who were arrested and detained by the police at Chisamba Police Station, on allegations of stoning the home of Cecilia Gambe.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum condemns the pervasive levels of inter-party political violence that continue to be recorded. Inter-party violence, sustained by lack of political tolerance and at times encouraged by statements made by party officials, has been prevalent in Zimbabwe since early 2000. The Human Rights Forum considers it the duty of the respective political parties in Zimbabwe to restrain their supporters from perpetrating violence against persons who support divergent political parties or persons who chose to be apolitical.

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