Election Trends Report: 16 – 22 July 2018

Reports of violations

Reports were made from 188 people who interacted with the We the People call centre, giving an average of 26.9 reports per day. 5 reports were “all is well”, leaving 183 calls with reportable incidents, 9 less calls than the previous week. A total of 270 violations were reported.

The number of reports received was similar to the previous week, suggesting that incidents are not decreasing as elections draw closer. The numbers of each type of violation were also similar, showing a clear “profile” where threats of extreme violence are the most common violation, followed by electoral malpractices. Violence and people being forced were reported less often, but with consistent reports coming in each day.

As with previous weeks, threats of violence continue to be the most common violation. Over half of the threats were of violence if people don’t “vote for ZANU-PF or ZANU-PF does not win”. A quarter of the threats were specifically towards people for supporting or voting for MDC Alliance. A number of threats were that violence will be worse than 2008, and will be conducted if there is a presidential election run-off. Most threats were of generalised violence or beatings, as well as threats of killings/ beheadings, eviction or expulsion from home and villages, soldiers moving in to enact violence, and abductions/ disappearances.

The reports of people being forced to attend rallies or to hand over personal information (including voter registration slips) were similar to previous weeks. A small number of reports were also received of people being forced to remove MDC regalia, and two cases of people being forced to vote in postal ballots.

Reported acts of violence were slightly less than last week but still consistent, with 13 reports throughout the week. ZANU-PF was involved in the violence in all cases but one, which involved an ex-soldier and political affiliation, was not stated. Acts of violence included beatings and assaults, wielding a weapon, physical fights and abduction were report.

Electoral manipulations were most commonly restricting villagers from government aid due to their political affiliation and defacing of campaign posters. Cases of vote buying and election-related intimidation were also recorded, including telling people that polling stations will be monitored through BVR information or cameras filming people. As with previous weeks, most of these acts were done publicly and in a brazen manner.

Source: We the People of Zimbabwe (WtPZ)

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