THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) calls for early signs of political violence in the country to be taken seriously by the authorities and all stakeholders ahead of the 2018 elections.
Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been, more often than not, violent, and it is worrying to witness incidences that indicate the resurgence of political intolerance and violence.
This follows the eruption of violence between supporters of the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) and of the ruling party Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) in Chitungwiza over the weekend.
The manifestation of violence negatively affect the participation of citizens in electoral processes, including the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR), and ultimately affect the freeness of the forthcoming elections.
ZimRights denounces the bloody clashes, which happened while the MDC-T supporters were carrying out a door-to-door voter registration mobilisation campaign, and calls for perpetrators to be arrested and tried regardless of their political affiliation.
The violence is a gross infringement of the Constitution and constitute a blatant criminal act which should not be tolerated.
ZimRights calls upon all stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to play their public role in maintaining the rule of law and entrenching the enjoyment of human rights by everyone regardless of political identity.
Political parties to restate their commitment to zero tolerance against political violence and actively discourage the barbaric actions.