Friday, July 6, 2018

2008 election violence fears rekindled: ZPP

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THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has expressed concern over alleged continued harassment and intimidation of voters ahead of the July 30 elections, with suspected Zanu PF activists allegedly threatening to unleash a bloody campaign of similar proportion to the 2008 presidential run-off election.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
“Harvests of fear planted in the 2008 vote are systematically being used to intimidate the electorate with particular reference being made to the 2008 experiences of political violence. However, the leadership seems to be ignoring the violations, thus one may be inclined to argue that they are behind the perpetration of the violence,” the ZPP said in its latest report released yesterday.
“The horrors of the 2008 violence are repeatedly being rekindled and used to threaten as awaiting those who vote against the ruling party. This shows that the perpetrators are using old wounds and a lack of healing and reconciliation to perpetrate more emotional and psychological violence against the victims who have faced repeated violence in the past.”
ZPP said there had also been a marked increase in cases of intolerance among rival MDC-T camps, with most of Thokozani Khupe’s campaign posters being pulled down by supporters of MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
The report said most of the violence occurred in the Mazowe and Harare areas.
The victims were recorded as 1 531 males and 1 226 females during the month of June.
The perpetrators were 506 males and 40 females. Zanu PF was the worst perpetrator with 332 cases compared to 187 by the MDC-T, nine by the National People’s Party, 10 by war veterans, and eight by unknown assailants.
“There is need to increase public condemnation of intimidation and harassment by law enforcement agents and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Political parties must reign in their supporters,” the ZPP said.