Articles

CHRA : VIOLENCE ON THE INCREASE, AS RESIDENTS TURN A BLIND EYE ON JOMIC

The mantra on peace in the country has become a usual song that has since turn into a sour melody. The country was taken to dizzy heights after the three principals in the G.P.A issued a joint statement castigating the issue of violence whilst preaching peace, tolerance and non violence. As if that was not enough, President Robert Mugabe became well known for issuing statements that spoke to the former, during national and party [ZANU PF] events. It would not be a surprise to know that when all these statements were made, Zimbabweans would simply pray with their eyes open because these statements came out as mere rhetoric if not sublime mysticism. Pursuant to a survey that was carried out by CHRA on the militarization of public facilities, a second round survey was done in Mbare and other areas in Harare to ascertain whether violence was on the decrease given the levels of reproach by the principals in government. What came out of the survey is a clear indication that violence in now on the increase and most of it is politically motivated.

 

ZANU PF is still holding on to council premises with which council is supposed to be earning some revenue but all the money is being pocketed by ZANU PF youth militia. Only a quarter of business operators in Mbare do consistently pay each month towards monthly service charges. However, most operators who do not sympathize with ZANU-PF have been chased away from Magaba, Siyaso, Mupedzanhamo and Masimbi. We reported in our previous report that all of these market stalls have been turned into ZANU PF districts with which cells have also been created within to allow for a micro-inspection of members. Every two hours there is a ZANU PF meeting in these districts and that is where funds are also collected. Members who abscond from these meetings risk losing their markets and this is done violently and many of them dread being engulfed in such a situation.

 

ZANU PF has not only remained focused on market stalls only, it has penetrated residential areas. A classic example is Carter house which was violently seized by Chipangano and currently houses more than 20 youth militia. Efforts by council to return Carter house have on several occasions proved to be bloody, as these youths can simply unleash violence without fear or other considerations. Interviews that were done with some forthcoming police officers who are based in Mbare, but requested that they remain anonymous unraveled that these youths enjoy serious political immunity from those that support their cause. This has been witnessed in the case involving Jim Kunaka (Chipangano leader) and Stan Zvorwadza who was victimized and later arrested instead of Chipangano.

 

About 87.5% of residents who were knowledgeable of national institutions like JOMIC and the organ on national healing clearly indicated that these bodies have failed to mitigate violence in communities arguing that these had failed to regulate and control the partisan ZRP. Residents are still being coerced to attend ZANU PF rallies and those that refused to do so have been marked for retribution. Residents reiterated that government needs to come up with a meaningful strategy that will put an end to this uncontrolled violence. The start point would be to address the operations of ZRP because statements alone will not put to end violence.

CHRA remains committed to good local governance practiced on a non partisan basis

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