A commentary by the United States think-tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), says that in Zimbabwe political power has been maintained by violence and intimidation. Part of the report by Michelle Gavin, a senior fellow for Africa Studies at the CFR reads
As shocking as the development is, violence has been a constant feature of Zimbabwe’s political landscape and the prospect of violence has hung over these elections long before Saturday’s blast.
Indeed, (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa won his presidential title last November through violence. Despite widespread domestic and international support for the military’s ouster of long-time President Robert Mugabe, it was force, not popular sentiment, that enabled Mnangagwa’s ascension and the “new dispensation” in Zimbabwe.
…Of course, the politicisation of violence is a tragic part of the country’s DNA. From the horrific violence of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, to the horrors of the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s (in which Mnangagwa himself is implicated), to the beatings, torture and killing of political opponents of Mugabe’s regime in 2008 and beyond, political power has been sought and maintained through violence and intimidation.