Leader of an opposition outfit, Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD), Herbert Chamuka has predicted that the 2023 elections will be more violent following a wave of politically motivated violence across the country.
MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa’s escort was attacked last week in Masvingo by alleged Zanu-PF supporters who were barring him from addressing villagers during his ongoing community engagement tour.
Chamisa’s convoy was pelted with stoned while roads were barricaded by logs prompting fears that the country could be back to ugly violent scenes which were witnessed during the late President Robert Mugabe’s era.
In a statement to 263Chat, Chamuka said Zimbabwe lacks political tolerance which will make it difficult to have peaceful elections in 2023.
“We have been shocked here as IPD but this is a sign that our 2023 elections will not be peaceful. What we need to note is that when it comes to issues of peace and democracy, Zimbabwe keeps lagging behind and we are condemning those that went and attacked others with stones,” Chamuka said.
The violence was widely condemned while the Zanu-PF party distanced itself from the attacks albeit with cheek in tongue.
He also accused Chamisa of inciting violence in Masvingo by campaigning in “Zanu-PF” territories.
“Since MDC got involved in the elections, a lot of blood has been shed because of political issues. Before the existence of the MDC party, Zimbabwe was peaceful.
“We used to have people like Learnmore Jongwe who died and who used to insult and degrade the government and Itai Dzamara as well. This shows that people are copying MDC even if we look at Evan Mawarire, these are people that caused a lot of unrest in the country…” he said.
Furthermore, Chamuka lashed at the MDC Alliance leader, accusing him of disregarding COVID-19 protocols by engaging villagers.
“We wonder why Mr Nelson Chamisa started mobilising people for a meeting especially in these COVID-19 times when he had gone to Masvingo.
“We are greatly encouraging that we care more about people’s health over winning elections because people will gather for Mr Chamisa but COVID-19 does not know that these people have gathered for Chamisa,” he said.
The South African based politician urged both the ruling and opposition party members to respect COVID-19 guidelines and not resort to politicking.
“What we are just asking is that Zanu-PF and MDC supporters respect COVID-19 d regulations to look out for the health of the people,” Chamuka added.