2008 election trauma lives on in many

Edward Chizikani, an MDC-T supporter, reveals still unhealed wounds on his back and shoulders, suffered when a group of militia from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party attacked his home in Chimanimani district in May 2008, at the height of the un-contested Presidential run-off election that returned Mugabe to power.

Chemwanyisa’s home - burnt down by suspected Zanu (PF) activists in 2008 political violence in Cashel Valley.
Chemwanyisa’s home – burnt down by suspected Zanu (PF) activists in 2008 political violence in Cashel Valley.

The wounds are a vivid reminder of what Chizikani says was a vicious campaign by Mugabe loyalists to silence opponents.

But less than three years after Chizikani escaped death by a whisker, Mugabe and party hardliners are talking of elections next year.

Chizikani and many other voters in his predicament have every reason to be dismayed, as they fear that an election would see the country spiral into another cycle of political violence.

“I feel there is too much anger and fear among people. Myself and others who are in my same situation are not ready for elections,” said Chikizani, a member of the MDC-T Chimanimani coordination committee.

His words strike a chord with millions of ordinary Zimbabweans who say they are more worried about the inclusive government restoring the economy, creating jobs and food security than a vote that could tear the fragile country further.

“Zimbabweans have not healed from the election trauma of 2008. We need more time to have confidence in the electoral system, that if Zimbabweans cast their votes it will really count for something,” said Chikizani.

“June 2008 is still fresh in our minds. Why doesn’t the government first improve services and make sure the economy is functioning again. We don’t want to lose lives and be beaten again,” said Martin Chemwanyisa, an MDC-T supporter in Cashel Valley.

He is one of many victims of the 2008 violence still living in abject conditions after their homes were burnt down by suspected Zanu (PF) activists.

Post published in: News

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