MAIN opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has warned the ruling Zanu PF party against jeopardising next year’s polls by perpetrating violence saying the world is watching.
This follows a series of violent attacks on CCC members by Zanu PF supporters as the two major political rivals canvass for support ahead of the 2023 polls.
Violent clashes erupted on Sunday in Matobo South ward 2 between Zanu PF and CCC supporters, leaving scores of people injured.
In Filabusi, CCC candidate for ward 4 Insiza South, Augustine Gumede told NewsDay that he spent three days in the bush after his house was attacked.
“They destroyed my windows, got inside my house and destroyed the television set, sofas and other property,” Gumede said.
He said the attackers were wearing Zanu PF regalia and were moving in ruling party-branded vehicles.
Some of the CCC vehicles which were destroyed during the weekend clashes belonged to Gumede, Angilacala Ndlovu and proportional representation legislator Jasmine Toffa.
Since last year, most of Chamisa’s rallies have been violently disrupted by Zanu PF party activists and suspected State security agents.
Last month during his rally in Gokwe, Midlands province, to campaign for parliamentary candidate Costin Muguti, scores of opposition supporters and journalists from the private media were severely assaulted at illegal roadblocks mounted by Zanu PF supporters along the Nemangwe-Chitekete Road.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the party had documented the cases of violence.
“As the CCC, we are extremely concerned about the escalation of violence throughout the country. What happened in Matobo yesterday is a pattern of conduct by Zanu PF. We have written to regional actors. As we speak, a dossier of all the political violence that has been perpetrated by Zanu PF since our inception and even before that is before the Southern Africa Development Community. We have formally communicated with them and other African unions.
“We continue to call for civic societies and international bodies to put in place long-term election monitoring mechanisms. We have engaged those who we need to engage in that respect and the world is watching. We cannot have another disputed election in 2023.”
The opposition party said it would not boycott next year’s polls, even if its demands for electoral reforms were not met.
“We want an election and not war. We condemn the outright lawlessness of Zanu PF with impunity. Our choice not to be violent must not be mistaken for weakness. We call for an end to the political violence that we are witnessing in all parts of the country. The use of guns in politics must end. This is not a normal election period. No institution has the power to take away the citizens’ right to vote. We will participate in these elections. We won despite these odds in the by-elections. We are going to push for these reforms but even if they are not there, we are going to participate because the constitutional right to vote can’t be taken away from the people.”
Mahere bemoaned selective application of the law by police.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The police are seized with reports of violent skirmishes which occurred in Matobo on October 16, 2022. Reports of assault and violence have been received from both Zanu PF and CCC members. Investigations are now in progress for all suspects involved in violence.”
Zanu PF national spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa said he was not privy to the matter, and referred all questions to party secretary for security, Lovemore Matuke, whose phone was not reachable.