Villagers cry foul over terror campaigns in Zaka District ahead of 2018 elections

Following threats of violence from Zanu PF youth and members of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee, villagers in Zaka District are now living in fear as they reflect on the 2008 terror campaign. Hundreds of perceived Zanu PF opponents were terrorised during the bloody 2008 Presidential Election Run Off. Speaking at a Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD) meeting in Zaka last week, the villagers accused Zanu PF district youth officials led by Amen Zhangare of Tsiga village under Chief Nhema and members of the police constabulary section of tormenting suspected opposition supporters in the area.

COTRAD Peace Club Members in Zaka Central Constituency have reported that Zhangare who is an aspiring Zanu PF councillor for ward 14 has vowed to unleash a terror campaign similar to the 2008 blood bath which targeted opposition supporters. “On dates around 19 August 2017 at Munaka Business Centre, Zhangare who was escorted by some Zanu PF youths instructed villagers to support the ruling party, Zanu PF,” said one youth. Local villagers said Zhangare, and members of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee also threatened teachers at Tovani, Musekiwa and Chinorumba Schools in Zaka District. Local villagers also pointed out that Zhangare was one of the perpetrators of violence in previous elections. In 2008, Village Head Tafirenyika Musarurwa, Tsiga School Headmaster, Mr A Ngwebu and Chinorumba Teacher, Mupota F were severely beaten up by Zhangare and his team.

COTRAD sincerely calls all political parties to conduct their activities in a free and peaceful manner. According to the Constitution, every Zimbabwean Citizen has the right to form, join and participate in the activities of a political party or organisation of his or her choice. Everyone has the right to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause; and to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the Government or a political or whatever cause.

Source: Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD)