Electoral and Politically Motivated Violence Resurgence: October 2021 Human Rights Update

Heal Zimbabwe’s October 2021 human rights update explores the resurgence of politically motivated violence as the country gets into election mode. Read on to get a full picture!

Zimbabwe is scheduled to conduct its general elections in 2023 and political parties are already focused on internal party restructuring and voter mobilization. The two main parties ZANU PF and the MDC Alliance are intensifying their voter mobilization initiatives in rural areas since relaxation of Covid-19 lockdown measures in September . Both parties launched aggressive campaigns with ZANU PF targeting 5 million voters while the MDC Alliance is targeting 6 million voters. Young people and rural constituencies are their prime targets. These political activities from across the political divide have also come with a dramatic increase in politically motivated violence which include severe assault, abductions, property destruction, arbitrary arrests , detention, intimidation and threats of violence.

The sudden escalation of violence, from the community level to national level attacks on the leader of the main opposition warrants particular attention as 2023 approaches. The recorded political violence, from 10-16 October 2021, was perpetrated against the opposition party MDC Alliance leaders and supporters in Masvingo Province, specifically in Gutu, Ngundu,Chiredzi and Zaka where Chamisa was on a tour to interface with community opinion leaders. The interface with the community members, leaders, civic leaders, and special interest groups as part of voter mobilisation ahead of the 2023 elections. On the first day of the party’s tour of the province in Chief Charumbira’s area, ZANU PF mobilized its supporters to prevent the MDC Alliance leader, Neslon Chamisa’s visit by barricading three possible routes to the venue of the meeting. The MDC Alliance vehicles that were part of the envoy being stoned, and passengers assaulted. The same was experienced in Gutu at Mupandawana and Maunga.

The MDC Alliance alleges that mission was planned and coordinated by state security agents with Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Ezra Chadzamira as the lead responsible for the violence. They also allege the complicit role of the police led by Assistant Commissioner Marume who up to date have not arrested any of the alleged perpetrators. The police were also complicit in the violence by throwing teargas canisters to opposition party members meeting in a private property.

Access the full report here (4MB PDF)

Source: Heal Zimbabwe

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