By Bulawayo Correspondent
CASES of human rights violations are on the rise in Matabeleland provinces ahead of next year’s by-elections, and the 2023 general elections.
According to the latest report of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), cases of politically motivated violence have been on the rise in Matabeleland North and South provinces since main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa embarked on his nationwide rural areas tours.
“The presence of MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa in Matabeleland North province resulted in some human rights violations as some Zanu PF activists and officials attempted to victimise opposition supporters in order to frustrate Chamisa’s campaign trail,” the ZPP said.
“For example, on 18 November at Bhule Two Village of Tsholotsho constituency, an MDC Alliance activist who hosted Chamisa at her homestead was victimised by Zanu PF activists and police officers.”
According to the report, Zanu PF supporters have also violently tried to stop MDC Alliances campaigns.
“At Siansundu ward nine, a Zanu PF activist identified as Jefferson Mulenga reportedly threatened to remove all MDC Alliance members from the social services beneficiary list.
“At Tshino Village, it was reported that Zanu PF activist identified as Moses Dube threatened to evict members of the opposition in the new stands that accommodate internal displaced person,” report said.
Incidences of political violations have also been reported in Matabeleland South during Chamisa’s visit to the province.
“In the same way as other provinces, Zanu PF activists, the police and some traditional leaders employed strategies to undermine the success of the opposition leader’s campaign trail.
“For example, at Insiza South Ward 11, a Zanu PF activist identified as Mr Ngwenya led a group of ruling party youths to chase away citizens and MDC Alliance supporters that had convened at the local community hall hoping to meet with Chamisa,” the report added.
Bulawayo has also experienced its fair share of human rights violations.
“Political tensions continue to rise in the province (Bulawayo). Zanu PF members forced some vendors to attend the funeral proceedings of the late national hero Simon Khaya Moyo. Vendors who chose to stay behind were told that they would lose their stands because they had defied the orders of the party,”
“It was reported that Zanu PF members led by a man only identified as Siziba were going around the stalls forcing vendors to buy their membership cards for US$2. It is said that vendors were warned that they risk losing their stalls if they did not buy party cards.”