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Political violence in Zimbabwe starts from the top

By Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

Zimbabwe has a history of political violence that has largely been perpetrated by the ruling party, Zanu (PF) against opposition activists.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

This violence is often the outcome of reckless public pronouncements and is instigated by the political leadership especially from the ruling party, Zanu (PF).

Besides Zanu (PF) activists, some of the perpetrators of the political violence have been the security services (against the dictates of the Zimbabwean Constitution) as well as traditional leaders and factions of war veterans who have openly declared their support and allegiance to President Robert Mugabe.

Law enforcement agents in Zimbabwe have chosen to act unconstitutionally and side with Zanu (PF) hooligans and this has allowed Zanu (PF) activists to operate above the law and commit a series of atrocities that include murder, torture, intimidation as well as confiscation of properties belonging to perceived and known opponents of President Robert Mugabe.

In a nutshell, cases of political violence in Zimbabwe have largely been as a result of the resolve by Zanu (PF) bigwigs and ordinary supporters to ensure President Robert Mugabe’s stay in office at all costs.

A closer look will reveal that political violence by Zanu (PF) activists has got the full blessings of President Robert Mugabe who is the Head of State and Government. The president has remained a key enabler to violent political activity since the attainment of independence in 1980 and of late at the turn of the new millennium. In 2016 with the rise of citizen protests, the president was on record threatening social movement leaders Evan Mawarire, Promise Mkwananzi among others.

President Mugabe has always taken advantage of public platforms to blast his opponents while inciting his supporters to unleash violence against his opponents. Such has been the legacy of his addresses at the national shrine where some of the country’s historical figures lay.

He has proved beyond reasonable doubt that his calls for peace are hypocritical as he has over the years been a beneficiary of political violence hence his continued stay in power.

History is clear how President Mugabe has strived on unleashing war and terror on his opponents; from the Gukurahundi massacres that claimed 20 000 lives, the 2008 political violence that resulted in the deaths of 200 opposition activists as well as some cases of political violence that claimed lives since the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

President Mugabe, like his wife, First Lady Grace Mugabe has failed to act like a national leader who ought to promote peace and unity for the development of the nation. He has proved to be the GODFATHER of political violence in Zimbabwe.

His lieutenants have followed suit and the result has been widespread political violence in Zimbabwe.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is on record castigating the Head of State and Government as well as senior Zanu (PF) officials for reckless statements that have the potential of fanning violence and hatred among Zimbabweans.

As the nation braces for the 2018 polls, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is deeply concerned about the volatile political situation currently prevailing in the country.

Reports of political violence in areas that have held by-elections is a serious cause for concern and points to a bloody and sham 2018 poll.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls upon regional, continental as well as international partners to intervene in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis.

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