Heal Zimbabwe expresses concern over the comments by ZANU PF Politburo member, Patrick Chinamasa during a press conference in Harare on 27 July 2020.Chinamasa directed ZANU PF members to use any means at their disposal to defend themselves on 31 July 2020 during the planned demonstrations.
Heal Zimbabwe notes that such sentiments by a senior former government official are not only regrettable but unfortunate. Such language is inciteful and has potential of threatening the prevalence of peace in the country. Heal Zimbabwe notes that such comments are likely to create animosity and politically motivated hatred among political parties. The comments by Chinamasa come at a time when political environment is characterized by high levels of political polarization, gross human rights violations and the closure of civic space. Attempts by citizens to express themselves through constitutionally provided provisions such as the freedom to petition and demonstrate have been met with brute force by members of the security services. Ahead of the 31 July 2020 planned demonstration, police have since launched a manhunt for activists .It is against this background that Chinamasa’s sentiments must find no expression in the country.
In light of this, Heal Zimbabwe implores ZANU PF leaders to desist from pronouncing inciteful statements and hate speech among citizens who are already burdened with a history of unresolved politically motivated violence and violations.