Dear African Leaders,
With a heavy heart, I write directly to you, selected African leaders, pleading for your intervention in the deteriorating situation as we approach Zimbabwe’s 2023 elections. Zanu PF leaders, including the Party President, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa, have become so ruthless in the quest to intimidate and murder Zimbabweans in a bid to cow the people into voting for President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF. This is not hearsay, but the attached videos tell the story.
In one video, President Mnangagwa says it is now time to chase the CCC and MDC supporters. Immediately after President Mnangagwa’s speech, there were reports that Headman Everisto Chidembo had reported that CCC activist in Guruve, Godfrey Karembera, to Chief Chipuriro so that Karembera had to be evicted from his homestead because he had built his home on a place that was not allocated to him (see details on the link that follows https://www.newsday.
Headmen and Chiefs in Zimbabwe are being unconstitutionally forced to campaign for Zanu PF and to intimidate and force people to vote for Zanu PF. This is said in two of the attached videos one of them recorded in the Sesame area of Gokwe where a Zanu PF official addresses people and tells them that if there are any headmen who support the opposition, they will be removed from those positions. The official says this was a directive from President Mnangagwa. He goes further to say that when people suspected to be opposition supporters go to vote, they should pretend that they are unable to cast their vote by themselves so that they will be assisted to vote.
In another video also attached, a Zanu PF official addresses a meeting and tells the audience that he will bring a voters roll which he will distribute to the headman, who in turn should identify individuals from their wards who have registered to vote, and threatens unspecified action against all those who are not registered. He tells the crowd that people are being given agricultural inputs and other goods so that they should vote for Comrade Mnangagwa and Zanu PF candidates. Interestingly, while the Zanu PF officials give the impression that he has no difficulty getting the voters’ roll, the Zimbabwe Elections Commission has many times denied opposition parties access to the voters’ roll.
Chiefs and headmen are constitutionally supposed to be apolitical, not involved in political party activities. However, under the Zanu PF government, they have been turned into Zanu PF sources for human resources to suppress Zimbabweans’ political choices and force them to vote for Zanu PF.
This is wrong, and I appeal for African leaders’ intervention through their individual effort to talk to President Mnangagwa and tell him this is wrong and should stop henceforth.
I have copied this letter to the Chinese Embassy in Harare as well. President Mnangagwa respects the Chinese Government, and if the Chinse Government can advise President Mnangagwa to stop these repressive acts, chances are that the level of violence being perpetrated by the President, consciously or sub-consciously, will drastically reduce to allow for free and fair elections.
Concerned Zimbabwean Citizen