Zanu PF supporter murdered during primaries, rights commission

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has confirmed that a 30-year-old man died in Gokwe in May this year during the Zanu PF primary elections held after he was brutally assaulted and dragged along a highway.

In its monitoring report of the Zanu PF elections, which was released this week, ZHRC confirmed that Roe Don Ushe Jnr of Ward 31, Gokwe-Mapfungautsi, was assaulted and dragged along the Zhombe highway and police were investigating the matter.

“The ZHRC team made findings of one politically motivated violence which was the murder of Roe Don Jnr. Ushe aged 30 years of Gokwe-Mapfungautsi Constituency, ward 31,” the report notes.

According to the ZHRC, the matter is still under investigation.

“This violent incident tarnishes the recognition of the Zanu PF primary elections as peaceful since it was a gruesome act which hindered the deceased’s right to vote as well as violating the spirit and purpose of the Constitution and legislation governing elections in Zimbabwe,” ZHRC explained.

According to the ZHRC, cases of violence during the Zanu PF primaries were also noted in Epworth, Mabvuku and Tafara.

Meanwhile, the ZHRC has condemned intimidation of aspiring candidates and the Zanu PF electorate by some “generals”.

“Throughout the monitoring mission, in almost all the provinces, there was constant reference to “The Generals”. Such references were made, apparently, to imply that some decisions or instructions were not open to questioning.

“ZHRC tried to establish who the Generals were, but the response was that they are the big guys, which still remained unclear to ZHRC to pinpoint who exactly these people were. The reference to Generals was quite intimidating to both the electorate and some aspiring candidates. Use of intimidating language is a clear threat to any democracy as it stifles freedoms of expression and political choices,” the report notes.

The commission also raised concerns that the Zanu PF administration was uncooperative and in some cases ZHRC monitors were chased away from observing the primary elections.

“In provinces such as Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West, access was almost impossible. For example, in Mashonaland Central, ZHRC was informed by one, Retired Brigadier Shungu, that “there is nothing human rights about a Zanu PF internal process…may you please leave this place and we don’t want to see you around…” The same negative response was experienced in Mashonaland East where ZHRC met an election official named Cde Kuchekwa and the party’s provincial chairperson, Mr Biggie Matiza who stated that ZHRC was not welcome to the political party’s internal process,” the ZHRC reports.