Sixteen by-elections took place across the country on June 10, but human rights defenders said Hurungwe West, a constituency in Mashonaland West province, was worst hit by intimidation and violence.
A former Zanu (PF) provincial chairperson, Temba Mliswa, unsuccessfully fought with Keith Guzah from the ruling party as an independent in a bid to retain the seat he lost when he was expelled.
“Heal Zimbabwe expresses grave concern over continued cases of intimidation in Hurungwe West, days after the June 10 by-elections,” said Heal Zimbabwe in a statement.
The trust said suspected Zanu (PF) youths on June 14 invaded the residence of Francis Pasipanodya, who was a polling agent for Mliswa and threatened to burn his house for supporting the independent during the by elections.
The youths reportedly threatened polling agents from Mliswa’s camp who Heal Zimbabwe named as Roderick Munayo, Phyllis Katemanyoka, Gabriel Nyamuronga and Edward Moyo from Ward 25.
“The Zanu (PF) youths vowed that these five people were no longer allowed to stay in the area and threatened to burn their houses if they (failed) to vacate. The matter has since been reported to the police and no arrests have been made,” said the watchdog.
The five agents have reportedly fled the area.
“Heal Zimbabwe implores the police to launch an investigation into the continued intimidation of people in Hurungwe and also urges the newly elected legislator …to lead the process of restoring order and peace in Hurungwe West as MPs are representatives of everyone in the community regardless of political affiliation.
“The Government must also ensure that its citizens enjoy constitutional rights such as civil and political liberties which do not criminalise anyone from exercising their right of making political choices freely and participating in the activities of a political party or individual,” added Heal Zimbabwe.Post published in: Human Rights