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Masvingo Violence exposes insincerity by political parties on the need for peaceful 2023 elections.

Heal Zimbabwe condemns in the strongest terms political violence that took place  in Masvingo Province as MDC Alliance President, Nelson Chamisa was on his way to meet community leaders in Charumbira on 11 October 2020.An estimated number of about 200 ZANU PF members barricaded the road, stoned cars and assaulted MDC Alliance members. Later in the day, riot police fired tear gas canisters at a private residence in Masvingo urban where MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa was addressing a meeting.

Heal Zimbabwe notes that the recent acts of violence expose insincerity by political parties on the need for peace ahead of the 2023 elections and also paint a gloomy picture of what lies ahead as the nation prepares for the 2023 elections. It further exposes the high levels of political intolerance among political players. It is Heal Zimbabwe’s view that political intolerance is fermented by unaddressed episodes of violence such as Gukurahundi and 2008 violence. The lack of political will to deal with past state sponsored atrocities has created impunity and a culture of violence among political players. More worrying is the complicit hand of law enforcement agents in perpetrating violence such as the police. The use of tear gas canisters against the MDC Alliance in Masvingo bears testimony to this. In terms of the constitution, law enforcement agents such as the police are obliged under Section 219 (e) of the constitution to,”uphold the Constitution and enforce the law without fear or favour”.In this regard, the police service has dismally failed to uphold the constitution.

In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe implores the police to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law without fear, favour or bias in compliance with Section 219. Heal Zimbabwe also implores political parties to reign in on errant supporters who perpetrate violence. The police must also launch a thorough investigation and apprehend individuals who perpetrated violence in Masvingo. The upsurge in cases of politically motivated violence also justifies why Heal Zimbabwe has been on record advocating for the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to thoroughly initiate a robust, wholesome healing and reconciliation process to address past episodes of violence.

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