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Silly Season Episode One. The Main Opposition Political Party, MDC Alliance, Contributed To Nearly 3% Of Violations



As noted in the graph, Mashonaland Central province has the highest number of politically motivated human rights violations with a total of 20 politically motivated violations, 13 of which are serious and five are severe.


Mashonaland Central is followed by Mashonaland West, which has 15 cases, six of which are severe, and Manicaland comes third with a total of 13 violations followed by Masvingo’s eight cases.



Mashonaland Central comes first as a result of the political contestation that took place in Zanu PF ahead of the party’s conference. Generally, the province, which the party claims is its stronghold, is characterized by deep-seated factional politics that date back to nearly a decade ago when the former President Robert Mugabe purged then Vice President Joice Mujuru and several others who hailed from this province.



In the 2017 military coup, several other top officials like Saviour Kasukuwere lost their positions and this has left the province fractured and in interviews carried out by the ZPP while assessing the impact of the Zanu PF national conference happening in the province, Zanu PF supporters confirmed the trend.



This was also confirmed by the gravity of human rights violations during the campaign for the provincial post by the current chair Kazembe, who used his clout as Home Affairs minister to interfere in the work of the police. In September, a challenger to Kazembe, Lazarus Dokora was assailed by alleged hit-men who used claw hammers to smash his car allegedly with the intention killing him.



In October, 15 police officers were arrested after they assaulted Zanu PF supporters in Mupandira near the provincial capital, Bindura, and the matter allegedly got the attention of President Mnangagwa who allegedly suspended some senior officers (see Mashonaland central Section).



For Manicaland, Mashonaland West, and Masvingo, the politically motivated human rights violations are related to the visit by the opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa’s tour into these provinces.



Zanu PF continued to mobilise its supporters to either disrupt or counter Chamisa’s activities and in some cases state security agents were involved in what remains as cause for concern considering that political freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution.



In Mutare, Manicaland province, Chamisa’s party claimed that a vehicle in which Chamisa was travelling was shot at.



The party showed images of the vehicle’s broken windows. In Zaka Zanu PF supporters stoned Chamisa’s convoy and videos made rounds of the altercations.



Soon after the Zaka attack on Chamisa, Zanu PF Political Commissar Patrick Chinamasa admitted that the attack had been executed by his party members and added that the MDC Alliance leader ‘provoked’ Zanu PF supporters who retaliated by attacking his convoy.


On the same day, government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana vehemently denied the involvement of Zanu PF and instead, bizarrely accused the MDC Alliance of stagemanaging their own attack using the same language that government has used to accuse civil and political activists of abducting themselves

Robert Tapfumaneyi