As the country counts down to the 2018 harmonized election, Heal Zimbabwe has intensified its early warning and early response with special focus on politically volatile areas such as Zvimba, Mudzi, Bikita and Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe. These areas have recorded the highest number of human rights violations with intimidation constituting the majority of violations recorded.
As part of intensifying its early warning and early response mechanism, the organization will:
- Provide daily political environmental updates up to the Election Day.
- Highlight areas that need swift redress from responsible institutions such as the police, ZHRC, ZEC and NPRC for the holding of peaceful and violent free elections and other critical stakeholders
- Facilitate rapid response services to affected people
- Engage political parties on the need to uphold peace and tolerance ahead of elections
Generally, the political environment has been peaceful with minimal recorded incidences of violence.
Violations recorded today
Bulilima ward 7
ZANU PF aspiring Councillor, Nhlaba Dube on 29 July 2018, instructed Village heads to ensure that people vote in groups on Election Day. Dube further highlighted that on the day of election, he was going to compile a list as people vote.
Maramba ward 6
On 28 July 2018, ZANU PF members Mirirai Zisengwe and Timothy Kufuka conducted a meeting in Hukuimwe village and highlighted that people were supposed to volunteer to be assisted to vote.
Gokwe ward 1
Village head Kudakwashe Guchutu on 29 July 2018, intimidated and threatened community with violence in Village 1A if they vote for MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
Mashava ward 33
ZANU PF aspiring councilor Tawanda Dube on 29 July 2018, intimidated community members moving around the ward chanting ZANU PF slogans.
Mazowe ward 9
On 29 July 2018, ZANU PF vice chairperson for the ward, Tarisai Makombera highlighted during a meeting at Kith irrigation centre that ZANU PF will burn houses if community members vote for MDC Alliance.
Gokwe ward 1
Village head Muchuchu conducted a meeting on 29 July 2018 in Village 1A and highlighted that community members were supposed to go and vote for ZANU PF Presidential candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa if they wanted to continue receiving food aid.
Muzarabani Ward 2
On 28 July 2018, ZANU PF District Chairperson Charles Mapungu addressed a meeting at Ndorohwe Centre and highlighted that people who needed assistance to vote should not bring their preferred persons, instead they should be assisted by someone seconded to them by ZANU PF. He further intimidated people stating that they must vote “carefully” to avoid serious bloodshed after the election.
Bikita Ward 25
On the 29th of July, Kudzanai Murahwa (ZANU PF ward Chairperson) and Joseph Muchara (ZANU PF ward 15 Chairperson) intimidated community members during two separate meetings in ward 25. The two indicated that people must go to the polling stations in groups to cast their vote. One of the persons seconded is Enock Chitemo, who will be assisting Village 15 voters.
Zaka ward 13
ZANU PF aspiring Councillor Manfred Mada on the 29th of July 2018 intimidated community members during a ZANU PF meeting conducted at Chinorumba Business Centre. Mada highlighted that community members should vote for ZANU PF in the upcoming elections since ZANU PF will be able to monitor where people would have voted for.
Bikita ward 9
Village heads Verengai Hunenga and Rabson Taruwanza were deployed as agents by the ruling ZANU Pf party at Fambidzanai Primary School and Mandiki Primary School. The village heads were later on removed as agents after community members complained to the Bikita District Elections Officer.
Bikita ward 9
Brighton Tauya and Wellington Mutisi on the 29th of July 2018 moved around the ward intimidating community members highlighting that people will be heavily beaten after the elections if they fail todo not vote for ZANU PF.
Buhera ward 29
Councillor Ronald Chirinda and VIDCO chairperson Shepherd Mufundirwa on the 28th of July 2018 intimidated community members during a ZANU PF meeting conducted at Tapedza Primary School. The two ordered community members to go with their village heads to cast their vote on the day of election.
Makoni ward 25
Cuthbert Mudyanadzo, the ZANU PF aspiring candidate for Makoni ward 25 on the 29th of July 2018 ordered community members to attend a meeting in Mudyanadzo village. However, some citizens in the ward told people to go home as the campaign period was closed on the 28th of July 2018. Cuthbert Mudyanadzo then told some of the people who attended the meeting to declare themselves illiterate on the day of voting.
Heal Zimbabwe continues to call on political parties to shun violence and adhere to principles set out in the Political Parties code of conduct that criminalizes acts of intimidation and violence. Political parties must also enforce the peace pledges which were facilitated by the NPRC in a bid to promote inclusive prevention of violence and conflicts as a strategy for promoting lasting peace. Heal Zimbabwe through its national peace campaign dubbed, 13 Million Voices for Peace will continue to campaign rigorously for peace and tolerance ahead of the 2018 plebiscite.
Source: Heal Zimbabwe