Political retribution must stop

Reports of intimidation, persecution and harassment of people considered sympathetic to parties other than Zanu (PF) have been trickling in from all corners of the country since the election results were announced.

Paul Bogaert
Paul Bogaert

Some have been ejected from their homes, others threatened with harm and yet others ordered to surrender the regalia of the party of their choice. While most of these reports emanate from rural areas, people are being threatened and victimised even in urban areas such as Harare. It is disturbing to note that the police continues to insist that it is not aware of these incidents.

Zimbabwe was hailed for maintaining peace throughout the elections. Even though there are concerns regarding the legitimacy of the poll, it was encouraging to see Zimbabweans of all political persuasions campaigning without the usual victimisation.

It is therefore tragic that there is a resurgence of political violence after the elections, and we are urging all relevant authorities, including the police who should investigate these reports, to put a stop to it.

Considering that the acts of violence are reportedly being perpetrated by Zanu (PF) supporters, it is incumbent on the party to ensure that they refrain from the retribution. It seems to have been for the party to send a message of peace to its followers in the run-up to the elections, so there is no reason why it cannot do so again now.

It is criminal and unconstitutional for some misguided elements to punish others for their political persuasions. The constitution clearly provides for Zimbabweans to support a party of their choice.

Parties such as MDC-T, MDC-N and others are legally registered political institutions that should be given the respect they deserve, and so should their followers.

It is even more disturbing that a party that claims to have won with a landslide victory is the one that is victimising its opponents. Instead of celebrating their victory, they are busy persecuting those they suspect did not vote for their party. Does that make sense?

We note with concern that President-elect Robert Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) have not publicly condemned the acts of their followers. Neither have they urged these so-called party faithfuls to seriously consider the harm they are doing to the party itself.

If this trend is not arrested urgently, it would be easy for Zimbabwe to degenerate into a crisis, and we are too weary for that.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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