This report seeks to document the nature of the violence that has occurred, and continues to occur, in Zimbabwe in the lead up to the general elections. It examines the causes of this violence, the extent to which political leaders are orchestrating it, the involvement of state agencies in the violence and the underlying objectives of the use of violence.
In documenting violent episodes caution must obviously be exercised in relying on information provided by political parties as there is a tendency for these parties to exaggerate incidents involving their members. In some instances political parties and the media have erroneously reported that deaths had occurred when they have not. In one instance it was falsely reported that a person had died as a result of a political clash when in fact the person died in a motor accident. The state-controlled press has ignored many of cases of violence allegedly perpetrated upon MDC members, whereas it has prominently reported cases of violence allegedly perpetrated by MDC members. On the other hand, the non-government controlled media and the external media have reported many of the incidents involving violent attacks upon MDC members.