The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has raised concern over the political violence witnessed in Nyatsime, Beatrice early this week following the murder and mutilation of CCC activist Moreblessing Ali. Below is the full statement by ZPP:
The situation in Nyatsime, is a reflection, of what is happening across the country, where ZPP has, in the past two months, detected and reported a resurgence of violence targeting CCC supporters.
In the two months alone, ZANU PF has contributed to +50% (+300) rights violations, the majority of them related to how the party is closing down space for the CCC in rural areas, particularly in Mashonaland East, West and Central, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.
ZPP is also concerned about the manner in which ZANU PF through its members claims the bodies of victims of political murder. Earlier this year there was an attempt to claim the body of the slain Mboneni Ncube in KweKwe.
It is clear that the brutality with which Ali was murdered and mutilated stokes emotions. The police, who we believe should be proactively providing a platform for peaceful resolution of the inter-party tension, is also expected to ensure the family is protected.
Weaponising the law to target opposition leaders is ill-timed and can only get in the way of peacebuilding at this crucial moment when the focus should be on investigating the circumstances of this callous murder.
Police should conduct themselves in a fair manner. There is a public record of a ZANU PF councillor publicly inciting party supporters to bar the funeral of Ali, and he walks scot-free even when there is considerable evidence of ZANU PF supporters torching houses and destroying the property of those who support CCC.
While the CCC leadership has publicly denounced violence, which is a welcome move, we believe they should do more to ensure that their supporters are not drawn into retaliating. This is because such a scenario can only breed more violence.
We urge CCC to pursue legal avenues to ensure the realization of justice for their supporters. In the same vein, we continue to implore ZRP to be impartial.
Concerned that this violence is likely to be part of the electoral environment ahead of the 2023 elections, ZPP believes it’s time for political leaders o dialogue about political violence and put in place preventive measures that will ensure life and property are protected.