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CCDZ: Involvement of Zim military in partisan politics is disturbing

CCDZ Press Release: 24 September 2012

THE Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) strongly condemns the involvement of the Zimbabwe military in party politics as evidenced by last week's disruption of a rally organised by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Professor Welshman Ncube in Mutoko. The disruption of the rally by the military confirms our fears that ZANU PF is planning to unleash its terror machinery once again in the forthcoming Constitutional referendum and elections. The disruption and beating up of MDC supporters who attended the Mutoko rally point to yet another sham election. MDC-T also was a victim of similar circumstances in various occasions.

We note with concern the continued militarization of the country and the impunity that has been allowed to take place even after the formation of the coalition government. CCDZ reiterates the Civil Society position that the forthcoming elections are an exercise in futility if they are held under the prevailing climate of fear and intimidation. We are worried that there is no commitment on the political leadership to bring to justice those responsible for instigating the human rights abuses. The human rights violations are being instigated by State security agencies and no action is taken against them. In 2008, the same military launched an operation code-named "Operation Makavhotera Papi" (Where Did you place your vote?" to ensure President Mugabe's re-election in the June Presidential Run-off elections.

The deployment of the military to the villages under the guise of championing food security in an operation code-named "Operation Maguta" is part of the ZANU PF strategy to instil fear in the electorate ahead of the planned elections. We call upon the Zimbabwe military to stay out of politics and stick to their constitutional mandate of defending the country from external aggression and making sure that the citizens live in peace.

We urge the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to effectively and decisively deal with the problem of militarization of elections in Zimbabwe in the context of the on-going mediation. The forthcoming referendum and elections must be preceded by institutional reforms including weeding the country's security apparatus of political activists masquerading as genuine soldiers. The forthcoming elections will not be free and fair elections if the State security agencies are not held accountable for the abuses that they continue to perpetrate against citizens.

Issued by:

Information Department
Centre for Community Development in ZimbabweTop of Form

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