ActionAid Zimbabwe (AAZ) notes with grave concern the recent upsurge in incidents of politically related violence in the run up to the local authority and parliamentary by-elections penciled for the 26th of March 2022. The campaign period ahead of the by-elections has been punctuated by hate speech, incitements, and acts of violence that culminated in the death of Mboneni Ncube and injury to many in Kwekwe on Sunday 27 February 2022.
AAZ implores political parties to respect the right to freedom of association and work towards the entrenchment of human rights and democracy, which are critical cogs in the fight against social and economic injustice.
For decades, Zimbabwe has been embroiled in hateful political contestation that has resulted in the deepening of the socio-economic crisis thus hampering the delivery of quality gender responsive services across the country. AAZ calls upon duty bearers in the Chapter 12 institutions and law enforcement agents to carry out their constitutional duties without fear and favour in bringing to book the perpetrators of political violence.
AAZ acknowledges the actions taken thus far by the police in bringing to book the suspects to this heinous crime and the statements by various political parties and stakeholders condemning the violence. However, we believe that more could have been done to avoid these unpleasant episodes of violence and unnecessary loss of human lives.
The President of Zimbabwe, in November 2021 signed the Instrument of Ratification of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance [hereinafter called “the Charter”] showing Zimbabwe’s willingness to promote best practices in the management of elections for purposes of political stability and good governance in the region. As such, AAZ calls upon the government in the true spirit of the Charter to strengthen political pluralism and recognize the role, rights, and responsibilities of legally constituted political parties, including opposition political parties.
AAZ is monitoring the political situation with keen interest as it pursues its vision of a just and fair Zimbabwe, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression.
Source: Action Aid Zimbabwe