Threats to ‘burn’ candidate’s house as tensions rise


The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has said it has received reports in Mudzi, Mashonaland East Province, that indicate that police recently arrested ruling party Zanu-PF supporters and war veterans for threatening to burn the house of United African National Council (UANC) candidate, Silver Chiripanyanga, ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections scheduled for July 30.
The threats against the House of Assembly aspirant reportedly occurred in June in Mapundu village under Chief Mukota. Mudzi North constituency, leading to both the threats and the perpetrators being reported to the local police’s Law and Order Section.
During the same month in Mudzi, police received a case accusing Zanu-Pf supporters of tearing up posters of independent candidate, Anyway Mupanduki, at Choori business centre as political temperatures rise.
The accused people have since been arraigned before the courts on charges emanating from violating the Electoral Act.
Mudzi has been a hotbed of political violence, which is enabled by its being one of the remotest areas in the part of Mashonaland East closer to the border with Mozambique.
Meanwhile, similar cases of intimidation and violence have been happening in other parts of the country.
At Mvurwi stadium on Sunday, July 1, a female Zanu-PF candidate reportedly caused tensions after she allegedly parked her car at the entrance and blocked entry to the venue of an opposition rally, which was addressed by MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa.
MDC Alliance aspiring MP for the area, Thulani Ndlovu, claimed Zanu-PF supporters had also removed and defaced campaign posters ahead of the rally.
A suspected MDC supporter was also assaulted by ruling party supporters during the Zanu-PF rally in Mutoko.
An amateur video of the incident sent to ZimRights by a whistle-blower shows Zanu-PF supporters kicking a shirtless man whose legs and hands are bound together by a rope with the assailants claiming that “he was bought and we will kill him.”
The assailants, who kick the hapless victim on the head and face, are only restrained by an elderly man wearing a ruling party shirt and walking with the aid of a clutch.
In Chiredzi North ward 16, Zanu-Pf supporters led by a named official have reportedly been telling opposition supporters that they will be “dealt with” after elections.
A named Zanu-PF youth chairman together with an aspiring councillor for Ward 11 in Bindura South constituency reportedly held a community meeting, where they told people to vote for the ruling party because it gave them food aid and to avert violence after the election.
In Masvingo in Bikita West constituency, Zanu-PF supporters have reportedly been removing posters of MDC Alliance candidate, Kudakwashe Bhadharai, in violation of the electoral laws.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende