Violence: Zanu PF in pole position

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA / SIMBARASHE SITHOL

Ruling party Zanu PF has become the main perpetrator of human rights violations following violence within the party during its internal elections that left some of its members hospitalized, according to a latest report released yesterday by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP).

According to the ZPP report titled It’s politics everywhere, the ruling party was responsible for 37% of human rights violations in September and claimed the life of one person.

In the report, 195 human rights violations, including assault, displacement, sexual harassment and illegal detention, were recorded.

Ordinary citizens were the majority of the victims.

The Police of the Republic of Zimbabwe (ZRP) comes second for human rights violations, with 31% of incidents attributed to it.

The ZPP said that in the past two years, according to trends seen in its findings, the ZRP had taken the lead in human rights violations, but for the first time in September, the ruling party was at the forefront.

This is attributed to clashes that erupted in various provinces as party members sought to consolidate their positions during the restructuring program ahead of an elective congress slated for 2022.

ZPP recorded 10 cases of intra-Zanu PF violence in September.

“Police of the Republic of Zimbabwe (ZRP) topped the list of human rights abuses over the past two years, but in September they passed the baton to Zanu PF, which contributed to more 37% of violations against 31% for the ZRP. ZPP said.

“Yet the ZRP’s contribution to human rights violations remains a source of concern as they as law enforcement officers are expected to be the torchbearers of a police approach. and public security centered on human rights.

“With the ruling party and the police leading the way as perpetrators of rights violations, levels of public safety and trust are compromised. “

The ZPP noted that Zanu PF party officials continued to abuse state resources for their party’s campaigns, as some members used police to fight in their corner during quarrels within the party.

In Buhera North, the ZPP said incumbent MP William Mutomba had to call Dorowa Police to disrupt an agricultural show his rival Philip Guyo sponsored.

“This month we have seen an increase in political activity from both the opposition and the ruling Zanu PF,” ZPP said.

“In most cases, the Zanu PF has succeeded and the main opposition MDC Alliance, whose operating space has been extremely limited, has also succeeded in rallying its supporters in some rural and urban areas and in some cases the party had to carry out activities at night. .

“It was a bloody weekend from September 24-26, 2021 in the Zanu PF party as party supporters and contenders for positions engaged in bloody fighting in Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Midlands provinces.”

However, acting Zanu PF spokesperson Michael Bimha said NewsDay yesterday that violence and shoving for posts was proof of the party’s popularity.

He said that although there have been reports of some clashes within the party, its members have been abused by other parties, but the cases have not been documented.

“The government is very concerned about human rights violations and has established the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission which has the power to monitor the human rights situation even within the party within Zanu PF power, ”Bimha said.

“We have not yet received any complaints from the commission that we are committing rights violations. When it comes to the use of state resources, the ruling party is a separate entity from the government, so it has no control over what happens in state institutions. If the police showed up at the Zanu PF events, the responsible authorities would have seen fit to send personnel there.

The ZPP said there had been an increase in political activity across the country ahead of the 2023 elections, resulting in violence and called for restraint and tolerance among political members.

Meanwhile, Bindura police rushed to a Zanu PF restructuring meeting yesterday and beat up party members, allegedly in retaliation for the assault on one of their colleagues by a ruling party member. Sunday.

Police, who wore riot gear, used tear gas before assaulting ruling party officials led by Shamva chairman Phamhidzayi Chirimuuta.

Chirimuuta said NewsDay that the police severely beat the members and arrested young people who were still in custody.

Mashonaland Central’s acting police spokesperson, Deputy Inspector Naison Dhliwayo, was not responding to calls.

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