'Only the vote can change our lives"¦'Murehwa political violence victims say

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition held a Community meeting in Zaranyika Village, Murehwa on Saturday 17 September 2011.

The meeting was attended by 49 people (27 men and 22 women). The purpose of the meeting was to give the public an opportunity to assess the constitution making process thus far and to input into the current election discourse. In the same vein, the meeting focused mainly on voter registration and participation of citizens in the next election. Political violence was discussed at length since Murehwa was one of the volatile areas during the 29th of March and 27 June 2008 elections.


Issues raised were as follows:

  • The inclusive government should quicken the finalization of the Constitution Review process.
  • Traditional leaders should remain true to helping the community and should undertake their duties in a non-partisan manner.
  • Politicians should stop abusing the youths by giving them handouts to commit acts of violence but should empower the youths by creating platforms for wealth creation.
  • Elections should only be held once the playing field has been leveled and Zimbabweans must be allowed to choose a leader of their choice without fear.
  • Police should not interfere with the voting process at polling stations and should only be present for purposes of providing security.
  • All those who committed acts of politically motivated violence should be prosecuted and this should start with those who played a part during the Gukurahundi massacres.
  • People are concerned by the ever presence of the military in communities and they feel that this is a ploy by alleged ZANU-PF officials to instill fear in the general populace.
  • Two participants complained that their arable land had been confiscated since they were regarded as MDC supporters by traditional leaders in the area.

Participants also made the following recommendations:

  1. Communities should form voter clubs and protect each other from perpetrators of violence.
  2. Community leaders and members of the community should register as voters in preparation for the next elections as this will stop uncouth political parties from stealing the people's vote.
  3. The Coalition should provide short wave radio gadgets so that community members can listen to unbiased news on Zimbabwe.
  4. The Coalition should continue to supply information on voter registration and the Electoral roadmap and conduct more confidence building workshops to soldier members of communities on.

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