INCREASE IN INCIDENCES OF POLITICALLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE WORRISOME
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is concerned over the reports of recent incidents of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe.
We deplore the incidence of violence at a ZANU PF Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Mutare at Marymount Teachers College on 9 October 2021 and attacks of the MDC Alliance convoy between 11 and 12 October 2021 which included stoning cars, barricading roads with burning logs and assaulting members of the MDC Alliance and are certain that most Zimbabweans would wish to disassociate themselves from such acts.
Acts of intimidation and inter- or intra-party-political violence should not be tolerated in a democracy, and those responsible for instigating such violence should be brought to justice.
In this regard, we call for political parties and their leaders to conduct themselves peacefully. There must be a full investigation of incidences of violence and all those found responsible must be held accountable.
The ERC also urges political parties to renounce the use of provocative language and dissemination of misinformation and falsehoods that only promote political tensions, divisiveness, and violence to promote the freeness, fairness, and openness of the political and electoral environment.
We also call on all parties to respect the democratic principles that are set out in Zimbabwe’s constitution, and which will contribute to a peaceful, just, and democratic society.
Through these principles, a broader peaceful electoral environment can be achieved contributing to a level playing field for all.
Considering the above, the Election Resource Centre, therefore, recommends the following:
To Political Parties:
- Political party leaders at all levels must publicly and sincerely always condemn violence within their party structures.
- Political parties must refrain from perpetrating violence and instigating violations of human rights
- Political parties must ensure the protection of the rights to human dignity, personal security, and freedom from torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment as enshrined in sections 51 to 53 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe
To the Government of Zimbabwe:
- ERC calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to uphold its duty to respect fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in section 44 of the Constitution.
- ERC also calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to implement all electoral reforms including those proffered by the Motlanthe Commission.
- ERC calls upon the Government to ensure the full protection of fundamental human rights as dictated by international human rights law and the duties and obligations imposed by treaties and conventions that Zimbabwe is a party to
To the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and all independent institutions concerned with supporting democracy and ensuring an improved political and electoral environment.
The ERC urges all independent institutions to condemn all forms of violence, support and entrench human rights and democracy as provided for in section 233 of the Constitution.
To the Citizens of Zimbabwe: The ERC encourages the citizens of the Republic of Zimbabwe to refrain from perpetrating violence and to be vigilant in reporting such acts to responsible authorities.