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There has been politically motivated violence and ongoing intimidation in Bikita West since the beginning of January. Evidence suggests that this violence, which has mainly implicated ZANU (PF) and its supporters, was apparently meant to intimidate people into voting for the party. It was allegedly also meant to instil such fear in the electorate that supporters of the opposition MDC would refrain from voting.
The police took little action to protect persons against political violence in the area. By and large, they failed in their duty to protect defenceless people against aggressors. Police were often present at the scenes of torture, and are reported to have taken part on occasion. Violence which occurred after 1st July 2000 is not covered by the Clemency Order. It should therefore be investigated with diligence by the police.
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