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ERC Raises Concern Over Political Violence

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) says it is concerned over the reports of recent incidents of politically motivated violence across Zimbabwe.

There have been isolated cases of politically motivated violence in recent days with the most prominent being the attack on MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa whose convoy was pelted with stones by suspected Zanu-PF supporters.

There was also another violent incident at a ZANU PF Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Mutare at Marymount Teachers College on 9 October 2021.

In a statement Wednesday, ERC said perpetrators in those incidences should be arrested and face the law.

“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 statement read.

The ERC urged 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,” the statement further stated.

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Meanwhile, Chamisa accused the police of turning a blind eye to their attacks by the allegedly Zanu-PF supporters.

He dismissed reports that his entourage was play-acting in anticipation of the intended visit to Zimbabwe by the United Nations Rapporteur.

“Honestly, if we are stage-managing riot police barricading a homestead in a village where we were supposed to be meeting community leaders, then we must be great actors, bigger than Hollywood and Bollywood stars.

“If we are able to rope in other components of the State to that act, without anyone being arrested, then we are that big,” Chamisa said.

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