Measures taken for violent election

mugabJOHANNESBURG Pro-democracy groups in the country are readying themselves for violent elections if President Robert Mugabe (pictured) goes ahead with holding the plebiscite next year, according to a Zimbabwean civil society leader.

Shastry Njeru, the head of the Transitional Justice Project with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, told The Zimbabwean in Johannesburg on Monday that the current political situation in the country did not allow for the holding of peaceful elections in the country.

Mugabes Zanu (PF) party, responsible for most of the violence in its retribution campaigns on the electorate, has hinted on several occasions that the countrys next elections will be held next year, raising fears that the country will see a repeat of the post March 29 electoral violence.

With the possibility of elections next year, we have shifted focus from trying to make the GNU work to preparing for the elections and making sure that they work, said Njeru.

We are, however, very mindful of the fact that there might be a repeat of political violence, which has not ceased since with the formation of the inclusive government. We still have incidents of widespread violence in the country during constitutional outreach programmes, in which state security agents have been sent to intimidate people in trying to stop them from saying what they want to see in the new constitution.

Without saying what they were doing in preparing, Njeru said that they were putting in place strategies that would assist victims and try and mobilise the grassroots to stop fighting political wars among themselves.

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