Bikita West by election Update: Voter Intimidation on the Rise in Bikita West
Heal Zimbabwe recorded human rights violations in all the 11 wards in Bikita West constituency unlike in the last instalment observations (published on 12 January 2016) where 9 of the 11 wards had a record of violations. The continuous involvement of traditional leaders in mobilising citizens to political gatherings and in perpetuating political intimidation remains unacceptable as it is against the constitution (Section 281-282). However, it is plausible that there are no visible cases of torture, murder abductions and other gross human rights violations.
Citizens should become more conscious of their surroundings in order to protect themselves from violence and intimidation. We anticipate a further increase on intimidation cases and a surge in forced participation in political gatherings given the number of scheduled mega rallies in the next few days. Political canvassing will intensify in these campaign finishing days. We also implore political parties and independent candidates to campaign peacefully and desist from using violent strategies that are likely to compromise the participation of Bikita West voters.
Click the link below to download the Bikita West By-election update