A REPORT by human rights non-governmental organisation, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) for the month of June has revealed that the main opposition MDC-T recorded more cases of electoral intra party violence (16 cases) than the ruling Zanu PF party (three cases).
Unlike previous election years where Zanu PF was the main perpetrator of inter-party electoral violence, this year’s intra party violence is said to be attributable to the factionalism conundrum that has affected political parties.
“Of the 19 cases of intra-party violence, 16 of them were recorded in the MDC-T and the remaining three by Zanu PF, and this was attributed to the chaotic primary elections in almost all political outfits,” the report said.
ZPP said they recorded cases of intimidation even during the sitting of the Nomination Court last week.
“In St. Mary’s, Chitungwiza, a candidate Tendai Simon failed to submit nomination papers after his rivals grabbed and tore them. In Mhondoro Ngezi, a National Patriotic Front candidate, Dorothy Mabasa claimed she had been intimidated by Ephraim Chengeta of Zanu PF while trying to submit her papers.
“An aspiring candidate was also detained for two days before Nomination Court making it impossible for him to submit his papers in time,” the ZPP report said.
They said all this was in contravention of section 133B of the Constitution which prohibits intimidation, and preventing a candidate from submitting their nomination forms. The penalties for the offence are a fine not exceeding level 10 or even five years imprisonment.
Some of the infractions by Zanu PF in the report included an incident in Chegutu on June 1, during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rally where traders were said to have been ordered to close shop and force marched to the rally.
The bickering in the MDC Alliance formations was said to be mainly over urban seats, where candidates felt they had more chances to win.
“The opposition party expects to win urban seats and wards easily and this has intensified jostling and congestion of candidates vying for the ‘safe’ seats within perceived opposition strongholds. Bulawayo and Harare which are opposition strongholds recorded many incidents of intra-party violence involving MDC-T primary elections,” the report said.
In areas of Mashonaland Central, Zanu PF was said to be victimising candidates from Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party, resulting in an incident in Mazowe where a toddler, Professor Lumbe was murdered. Candidates from the G-40 linked NPF were also said to be victimised by Zanu PF supporters.
In Mashonaland West, the ZPP said Zanu PF activists and traditional leaders were the ones causing havoc.