Zimbabwean Govt Warns Against Political Violence Ahead Of Upcoming Harmonised Elections
The Zimbabwean government has issued a warning to individuals involved in political violence ahead of the upcoming harmonised elections. Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe stated that regardless of their political affiliations, perpetrators will face legal consequences for their actions.
Kazembe emphasised that the government does not condone violence under the pretext of election campaigns. He said the Police Commissioner General has been directed to arrest those responsible for violence without bias. He said:
We are disturbed by the recent emergence of pockets of political violence in some parts of the country as the nation prepares for the pending harmonized elections scheduled for August 23, 2023.Feedback
Government does not condone acts of violence by individuals, groups, or political parties under the guise of campaigning for the elections. My ministry has directed the Police Commissioner General (Godwin Matanga) to arrest perpetrators of violence without looking at one’s political stature, status, identity, or financial muscle.
All malcontents who want to damage the image of the country and discredit the forthcoming elections will have themselves to blame.
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Kazembe’s remarks come in the aftermath of the brutal murder of Tinashe Chitsunge, a supporter of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), allegedly by Zanu PF supporters in Glen View South. Additionally, the opposition reported an attack on their supporters by ruling party supporters in Nyanga, although the police are yet to confirm the incident. Kazembe stated that the police will determine whether the Nyanga incident involved politically motivated public violence.
Kazembe expressed concern over recent incidents, including the brutal murder of a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter in Glen View South, allegedly by suspected Zanu PF supporters. Police investigations into the murder have intensified. Kazembe acknowledged that violence has historically occurred before and after elections and stressed that the police will thoroughly investigate every crime, determining whether it was politically motivated or not. He said:
Violence is violence. Police need to find out if it was politically induced. We have always had violence even before the elections and we will always have violence after the elections.
All I can assure you is that police are leaving no stone unturned at every crime committed. They will only establish what type of violence it was after investigations. With any form of violence, some people will be accounted for. There are no sacred cows. No matter where you belong, violence is violence, crime is crime, and it will be dealt with accordingly.
Kazembe also mourned Tinashe Chitsunge. He said:
My ministry deeply regrets the loss of life which occurred and passes its condolences to the family of Tinashe Edson Chitsunge. The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has since arrested 12 suspects in connection with this sad incident.
He highlighted that the government’s security forces are vigilant and ready to address criminal elements before and after the elections. He urged political leaders to ensure their supporters refrain from engaging in any form of violence.
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