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Reports of organised violence have consistently surrounded the period preceding elections in Zimbabwe. The by-election held in Insiza over the weekend of 26 – 27 October 2002 proved to be no exception as it was allegedly marked by violence and engulfed in intimidation. There were reports of victimization of villagers, real and perceived MDC supporters as well as the MDC candidate himself. In one case, it is alleged when Zanu PF candidate, Andrew Langa, is alleged to have fired a shot at an MDC supporter, Darlington Kadengu, during the campaign period. Siyabonga Mlandu Ncube, the MDC candidate was with Kadengu at the time of the shooting. It is unknown whether the shot that hit Kadengu had been intended for him or not.
The reported presence of CIO officers and youths from the Border Gezi National Service Training Centre observing and monitoring the polls in a breach of the electoral laws, was purported to have had an intimidatory effect on the opposition party supporters. As the Electoral Act Section 14B states, it is only those nominated by and accredited by the Observers’ Accreditation Committee before the actual commencement of the polls, and those who also have proof of an accreditation certificate, who are empowered to observe polls; neither of these groups had been accredited.
There were allegations that the police were selective in application of the law as they reportedly targeted only MDC supporters, turning a blind eye to political violence perpetrated by Zanu PF supporters.
Retributive attacks on opposition party supporters have been widely reported in the post – election period for the September 2002 Rural District Council elections. Anderson Chingosho, MDC candidate in the Mount Darwin town council elections, was allegedly assaulted and barred from his home area together with his family.
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