Election Trends Report: 9 – 15 July 2018

/Reports of violations

Reports were made from 206 people who interacted with the We the People call centre, giving an average of 29.4 reports per day. 14 reports were “all is well”, leaving 192 calls with reportable incidents. A total of 281 violations were reported. This represents a substantial increase from the previous week, with a 56% increase in number of incidents compared from 157 the previous week.

Reports of threats of violence almost doubled while electoral malpractice reports increased by over a third during the week. Threats of violence were similar in nature to previous weeks, with perpetrators threatening extreme violence should ZANU-PF lose, or should the presidential election proceed to runoff. Perpetrators frequently noted that violence would be the same as, or worse than that experienced in 2008.

The reports of people being forced to attend rallies or to hand over personal information (including voter registration slips) remained the same as the previous week.

Reported acts of violence increased to 19, from 9 witnessed the previous week. Acts of violence were for supporting political parties and included people being beaten, acts of arson, and attempted assaults. Whilst almost all cases were against MDC supporters, it is noteworthy that 2 cases were assaults against people wearing ZANU-PF regalia. In both cases the victims stated they knew the perpetrator, but not their political affiliation.

In response to the increased number of calls, the call centre team increased tracking the action taking by police on reported cases. All callers who reported an illegal act were strongly encouraged to report to police. Along with this, it was also tracked as to how many callers noted they were unable to report to police either due to fear of previous actions of police, or due to people failing to access police stations from their geographic location. The number of callers who reported to police but the police failed to act were also recorded. There were 17 such cases reported for the week, representing 9% of all the calls.

Source: We the People of Zimbabwe (WtPZ)

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