Political violence is barbaric: CSOs
BY STAFF REPORTER
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and political analysts have condemned acts of political violence ahead of 2023 harmonised elections.
This follows the Monday alleged attack on Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters by their Zanu rivals in Insiza and Sunday assault in Matobo, Matebeleland South recently.
In Insiza 30 villagers in Insiza, Matabeleland South including Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Bulawayo legislator Jasmine Toffa were reportedly attacked in Matobo ward 2 while preparing for by-elections.
In a press statement Monday, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) described the reported violence as a barbaric conduct.
“ZLHR condemns this unacceptable, violent, inhuman, dehumanising and degrading treatment of people which has no place in a civilised society,”
“Violence has no place in an aspiring democracy and is monumental threat to the peaceful co-existence of all Zimbabwean citizens and such acts by some misguided political party supporters threaten Zimbabwe’s democratic trajectory.”
National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG) chairperson Paul Themba Nyathi said the well-being and integrity of citizens was more important than power.
“Violence, for whatever reason, is harmful, primitive and destructive. 42 years after our independence, we don’t need this. We are all Zimbabweans and inflicting pain on each other is totally unacceptable. The police should deal with this issue diligently,” he said.
Political Analyst Effie Ncube said: “The ugly and senseless violence is a manifestation of panic within the ruling party. This is a harbinger of what will happen in 2023. It can be replicated throughout the country.”
Political Analyst Kudakwashe Munemo described the violence as “unconstitutional and inhumane”, adding that it’s uncalled for ahead of 2023 elections.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has implored political parties to foster peace ahead of the elections.
“These violent clashes have a potential to adversely affect the participation in democratic electoral processes of the electorate in particular vulnerable groups. It undermines civil and political rights and affects citizens’ right to compete in electoral processes,” ZESN said in a statement yesterday.
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) noted with concern that by-elections sites have become a hotspot for violence, intimidation and criminal activities by political parties’ supporters.
“ERC categorically condemns the use of force, coercive measures and physical violence no matter the circumstances. Peaceful elections are possible and political leaders must publicly condemn the violence and publicly pledge to bring violent supporters to order as a matter of urgency,” ERC said.
“The violence committed against women who were stripped off their clothes and left partially naked is abhorrent, inhuman and intolerable. There is no place for violence and intimidation particularly against women in Zimbabwe.”
On Monday CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere warned Zanu PF against jeopardising next year’s polls by perpetrating violence saying the world is watching.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police were seized with the reports of violence, adding that they were received from both Zanu PF and CCC members.
“Investigations are now in progress for all suspects involved in violence,” he said.