Heal Zimbabwe Trust Accuses FAZ Of Voter Intimidation
ZANU PF-affiliated group Forever Associate Zimbabwe (FAZ) Trust has been accused of engaging in politically-motivated violence and the intimidation of opposition supporters by human rights watchdog Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT).
HZT says FAZ, war veterans, village heads, chiefs and ZANU PF officials are responsible for violence and intimidation ahead of the 23 August 2023 general elections.
FAZ, which is reportedly backed by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), handled ZANU PF primary elections early this year.
In its Election Watch report for June, HZT said FAZ agents even forced an opposition candidate in Gutu West to withdraw from the race at gunpoint. Part of the report reads:
Heal Zimbabwe has recorded at least 40 cases of intimidation, threats and coercion in the past week alone across the country.
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Opposition CCC supporters have been at the receiving end of these threats and intimidation while ZANU PF structures, shadowy FAZ, traditional leaders and war veterans have been identified as the biggest perpetrators.
Shadowy organisation, FAZ, an affiliate of the ruling party has been at the center of controversy, conflict and human rights since the last months of 2022.
FAZ has, however, caught the eye of the storm in recent months. In the past week, FAZ has allegedly been the major perpetrator of intimidation, violence and coercion across the country.
In Gutu West Ward 7, FAZ officials allegedly held a CCC councillor candidate at gunpoint and made him withdraw his candidature under duress.
The candidate has since sought a reversal of the withdrawal.
FAZ originated in 2010 at Solusi University, by a group of Seventh Day Adventist Church students and faculty who came together to access business and empowerment opportunities then being offered under Government’s Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Programme.
They registered as a Trust, with the support of the then Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs. Their aspirations were, however, frustrated and ultimately thwarted under the Government of National Unity.
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