By Lloyd Takawira
Local human rights groups, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Heal Zimbabwe have called for the arrest of ZANU PF youths threatening violence against opposition party, MDC Alliance members and supporters.
In a video captured Tuesday at the unveiling of the Mbuya Nehanda Statue in Harare, an unidentified ZANU PF youth vowed to physically assault MDC Alliance and American president, Joe Biden whom he claimed was sending instructions to the former.
In two other separate video clips the same ZANU PF supporter brags with the party’s ‘violent’ nature, threatening to torture MDC Alliance supporters.
As the 2023 harmonised elections draw near human right lobby groups have expressed fears that oppositions will be cowed like what reportedly happened in previous years. This is further worsened by the selective application of the law.
In separate statements, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and Heal Zimbabwe demanded that authorities arrest the ruling party youths for inciting public violence.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition wrote, “The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition notes with concern threats of violence against opposition supporters which were issued by Zanu PF supporters during the unveiling of a statue for the long-gone heroine, Mbuya Nehanda on May 25, 2021.Violence, in all forms, must be condemned. The threats of violence by ZANU PF supporters against MDC Zimbabwe must be condemned.
“The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission and Zimbabwe human right commission must also condemn this. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition implores the ruling party, Zanu PF, particularly its leadership to rein in their supporters and condemn all forms of violence.”
Heal Zimbabwe in a statement said that the threats of violence by ZANU PF youths are worrisome especially as the country moves towards 2023 harmonized elections.
“This is disturbing. Zanu PF political tolerance is key ahead of the 2023 elections. The use of denigrating slogans has the potential of inciting political violence ahead of the 2023 elections.”
Zimbabwe in the past has witnessed violent scenes since the turn of the millennium when the opposition MDC threatened Zanu PF hegemony in the 2002 elections .
Since then the country has been in and out of volatile situations with the worst being the 2008 electoral re-run which saw the torture of thousands of opposition supporters.