Here Are Some Of The Cases Of Politically-motivated Violence Reported Ahead of 26 March By-elections
As Zimbabwe edges closer to general elections scheduled to take place in 2023, there are concerns over increasing cases of politically-motivated violence, with the main political parties, ZANU PF and CCC, blaming each other for the upsurge in incidents of violence.
Politically motivated violence manifests itself not only in inter-party violence but also in intra-party fights.
There was a break in cases of violence during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns during the greater part of 2020 and 2021 but more cases were recorded in the weeks leading up to the 26 March by-elections.
In February this year, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) condemned alleged politically motivated violence by ZANU PF activists targeting opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters in Kwekwe.
Prominent Cases Published by Pindula earlier:
ZANU PF supporters allegedly assaulted the driver of the CCC candidate for Kwekwe Central, Judith Tobaiwa, and removed campaign posters from Tobaiwa’s vehicle.
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Later that month, several ZANU PF activists were reportedly attacked by unknown assailants in Njube, Bulawayo, with some left nursing injuries.
The activists were reported to have been campaigning for the ruling party ahead of the 26 March by-elections when they were pelted with stones.
During the same month, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) said that it had noted a growing and disturbing trend in politically-motivated violence since the launch of CCC in January 2022.
The Forum cited several cases of violence, such as the assault of CCC supporters with iron bars by ZANU-PF supporters in Harare East on 16 February.
The Forum also reported that on 18 February 2022, a disabled CCC member known as DJ Vaneldo was attacked by ZANU-PF supporters at his home in Highfields.
On 27 February, CCC supporter Mboneni Ncube (35) of House Number 917/19 Mbizo, Kwekwe, was attacked with a spear and murdered by ZANU PF activists during a campaign rally at Mbizo 4 Shopping Centre in the Midlands town.
A leaked Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) memo revealed that suspected ZANU PF youths who were involved in the murder of Mboneni Ncube were arrested while hiding at Jessie Gardens, Mbizo 11 Kwekwe.
On 28 February, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) said it had noted with grave concern, gross incidents of political violence and the use of state security agents to suppress and violently disrupt opposition political campaigns.
In early March, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba expressed concern over cases of politically motivated violence, saying they could negatively impact the electoral environment ahead of the 26 March by-elections.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe also condemned the violence saying that police will not hesitate to arrest perpetrators of politically-motivated violence regardless of their political affiliation.
Later in March President Emmerson Mnangagwa condemned intra-party violence in ZANU PF and threatened to intervene if party leaders in Matabeleland North Province failed to unite and end the scourge.
The warning came after a central committee member in the district, Veronica Mnkuli, had her house and vehicle burnt by opponents.
On 20 March, CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said that the party’s chief by-election agent for Ward 2, Mazowe North District, Andrew Makome and his wife were attacked at Chaona Shopping Centre. She said the assailants used logs and axes.