ZimRights condemns Mtoko violence

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association strongly condemns alleged soldiers’ disruption of the Weshman Ncube led Movement for Democratic Change organised campaigning rally on Friday the 21st September.

Reports are that hooligans suspected to be ZANU PF sympathisers and dressed in army uniforms attacked people who attended the rally at Mutoko Centre. Several are said to have been forced to scatter soon after the departure of the MDC-N leadership. The attack also left six people injured and reportedly hospitalised at Mutoko Hospital.

It remains a major cause for concern that Zimbabweans continue to take part in violent politics. Similar experiences occurred in 2008 and left thousands of people misplaced, paralysed, raped and properties destroyed yet that culture has not abated. We demand an urgent investigation into the matter and prosecution of the culprits.

The situation demands that they are brought to book because the incident signals a belt of intolerance within the region considering that it happened a few kilometres away from Mudzi, where the MDC-T lost a supporter at an attempted rally about three months ago. It depicts some irony in that the incident occurred on the United Nations sanctioned International Day of Peace when the majority of democratically progressive minds were reflecting on progress and mapping the way forwarding in building sustainable peace.

The matter echoes manifestations by Major General Martin Chedondo to soldiers at a pass out in May 2011 when he urged them to support no other party than ZANU PF. He was addressing more than 3 000 young soldiers from the 2 brigade in Mutoko who were on a battlefield exercise, when he said “the army should support ZANU PF because it is a revolutionary party and is the only political party with national interests at heart”. All these cumulative unpleasant developments warrant serious intervention also taking into account that the country might be heading for an election.

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