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HomeNewsZESN Urges parties To Curb Intra-party Violence Ahead Of Elections

ZESN Urges parties To Curb Intra-party Violence Ahead Of Elections


The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has called on political parties to strengthen their internal democratic processes and avoid incidents of double candidacy and violence.

The appeal comes after the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), an opposition party, faced chaos on nomination day last week when some of its candidates were challenged by others from the same party.

The CCC blamed the ruling Zanu PF for forging signatures on nomination papers to sabotage their party ahead of the August 23 harmonised elections.

However, Zesn said political parties should take responsibility for their own affairs and ensure that they follow democratic procedures to select their candidates.

“Political parties should endeavour to strengthen intra-party democracy processes to avoid conflicts such as the fielding of two candidates,” Zesn said in a report on the nomination process.

Zimbabwe has a history of political violence, especially during election periods, with opposition parties and supporters being targeted by the ruling party and its allies.

According to FairPlanet, a human rights organisation, more than 200 people were killed in the 2008 election, with hardly anyone being held accountable.

Political violence is also prevalent in rural areas, where traditional leaders are allegedly used by Zanu PF to intimidate villagers and deny them food aid if they do not support the ruling party.

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As a result, some opposition parties have struggled to find candidates willing to represent them in some rural constituencies due to fear of reprisals1.

Intra-party violence has also increased within both the ruling and opposition parties, as factions compete for power and patronage.

Zanu PF has witnessed several cases of irregularities and violence during its primary elections, leading to some results being nullified2.

Analysts have warned that these incidents of intra-party violence are a sign of worse things to come and have urged religious groups and civil society organisations to promote peace and tolerance.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has also expressed concern over the growing cases of violence and called for a conducive environment for free and fair elections.

“We ardently call for peace and tolerance,” the ZCC said in a statement. “As we approach the 2023 elections let’s all contribute to an environment characterized by the freedom to campaign, articulate issues, and participate without fear, favour, and prejudices. We all have the responsibility to contribute to an election process characterized by peace and tolerance before, during and after the elections.”.

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