An Update on the Political Environment in Zimbabwe

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An Update on the Political Environment in Zimbabwe

Area Outlook Situation on the Ground
Mt Darwin ward 8 Tense Zimbabwe People First supporters in the ward are living in fear following an incident where one supporter of Zimbabwe People First (name withheld for security reasons) had his homestead ransacked by unknown men who were travelling in an unregistered car on the 3rd of July 2016. On the day in question, 5 men arrived at the victim’s homestead and fired 3 gunshots in the air and accused the ZimPF supporter of campaigning for Mai Mujuru in the area. They then moved to ransack his house and confisticated 81 chickens. The perpetrators warned that if he continues to support Zimbabwe People First, next time they will shoot him. The victim later on reported the case to the police but to date no arrests have been made.
Marondera West ward 14 Moderate There is huge deployment of members of the police from Mahusekwa Police station constabulary unit who are moving in the area threatening all known opposition political party supporters. On 24 July, they disrupted a Village ward meeting and accused those who had convened the meeting of being opposition supporters and threatened them with unspecified action if they call for such meetings again in the future.
 Penhalonga ward 21 Moderate  ZANU PF youths chased away gold panners who were mining along Mutare river on the 14th of July. The group of youths was led by ZANU PF youth chairperson Cosmas Manduku. The youths argued that since most of the panners were from Ward 21, they were not allowed to carry out mining activities since the ward is well known for supporting opposition political parties. They told the panners that only ZANU PF youths were allowed to carry out mining activities in the area.
 Marondera central  Ward 10 Moderate  In Marondera central, ZANU PF is using the Queen of Grace ZimAsset Trust to intimidate people in the area. On 25 July, the Trust called for a meeting with vendors at Green Valley park. The Secretary General of the Trust, Ephraim Chizola began to chant ZANU PF slogans and told the vendors that only ZANU PF card carrying members will be allowed to sell their wares in the area.
Masvingo urban ward 6 Moderate  In Masvingo urban ward 6, on the 25th of July 2016, Jane Musika, a ZANU PF supporter  intimidated MDC supporters by writing down their names after she saw them distributing fliers for a protest march. Ms Musika openly threatened the youth with violence and told them that she is forwarding their names to ZANU PF provincial leadership if the scheduled march against the introduction of bond notes takes place on the 6th of August.  On the day of the March, Ms Musika was seen following the MDC group from a distance with a book.
Nyanga North ward 5 Moderate  In Nyanga North ward 5, on the 26th of July, Theresa Muromowenyoka a war veteran, had a meeting with ZANU PF youth officers in Nyanga and told the officers that Nyanga area was now full of “traitors” (referring to opposition supporters). At the meeting, she told the youth officers to start identifying all known opposition supporters and consider setting up bases in the area.

 

Nyanga North ward 3 Moderate  In Nyanga North ward 3, Mr. Needy Kasekete, a villager in Maruza village is being accused of supporting MDC T by Village head Cephas Maruza and his committee, a party which they say is “banned” in the area. Village head Maruza had set the 4th of August as the trial date and the case was expected to be heard before Headman Dzenga at his kraal. Mr. Kasekete had also been told to bring $50 as court expenses. On the day of the trial, HZT staff contacted Headman Dzenga to inquire further about the case but he denied that the case was taking place on that day.  But he admitted that indeed the case was brought before his court and is yet to set the trial date.

 

 

     
     
Buhera West ward 5 Moderate In Buhera west ward 5, on the 23rd of July 2016 at Chani business centre, MP for Buhera West, Oliver Mandipaka held a meeting with village heads of ward 5 and 6 and also branch leaders. He told them that they should identify all ZANU PF supporters in their area and write down their names so that they receive Government sponsored food aid. At the meeting, he tasked the leaders to go warn villagers that all those who choose to continue supporting opposition political parties will never benefit from any form of food assistance be it NGO or Government sponsored.
     
Maramba-Pfungwe ward 6 Tense At Mutawatawa Growth point on 21 July 2016, members of the police chased away  Zimbabwe People First supporters who were distributing flyers. Later in the day, ZANU PF ward Councillor, Tichafunga Marekera moved in the ward with ZANU PF youths intimidating and harassing villagers warning them that all those who support opposition political parties in the area would be “dealt with” before  end of the year.
     
     

NB: The update is a product of information collected by human rights monitors (HRMs) trained by HZT in citizen journalism, early warning and early response mechanisms. The HRMs operate discreetly and are drawn from the wards where HZT reports the cases.

 

 

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