Via MDC Press Release: The MDC is extremely enraged at the increase of politically motivated incidents of violence taking place throughout the country at the instigation of the chaos faction of Zanu PF.
At the weekend a 12 year old boy Christpowers Simbarashe Maisiri, the son of the MDC Headlands district deputy organising secretary, Shepherd Maisiri was callously murdered on Saturday by Zanu PF thugs.
The police from Inyati Mine Police Station were informed about the incident at around 12 midnight but said they could not attend the scene because they had no fuel.
They only arrived at the scene 7 hours later.
This is the ninth time Maisiri’s house has been attacked by Zanu PF gendarmes but typicaly no arrests have ever been made.
In Gutu Central Constituency, 50 year old Albert Musvosvo an MDC branch chairman in ward 17 was severely assaulted by a mob of Zanu PF supporters at last weekend and sustained horrible injuries. Again no arrests have been made.
In another incident, barely a month ago, William Sibanda, an MDC youth supporter was abducted by a known agent from the CIO at gun-point at Nyamandlovu bus terminus in Matabeleland North province. The CIO operative is only known as Chibango and operates from Lupane Police Station but he has not been arrested.
As if to compliment these acts of barbarism by Zanu PF, the Police have embarked on a crusade against the people in particular carrying out raids against MDC leadership. Just a week ago they raided the home of Hon Reggie Moyo in Bulawayo looking for what they called subversive material.
For the MDC this harassment of pro-democracy institutions by the state is totally unacceptable.
The partisan and unprofessional conduct being displayed by the police and army is totally unacceptable. We note with displeasure the incessant attacks on nongovernmental organisations and other voices of dissent.
The confiscation of radios, continued police raids and arrests of pro-democracy activists at: Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) and of late at the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) points to a serious indictment of a free democratic environment which we envisage as we approach the election period this year.
In Matebeleland the police have also been harassing civic organizations and people perceived to be aligned to the MDC. Recently the Habbakuk Trust and National Youth Development Trust offices were ransacked by security personnel looking for what they called subversive material.
The intimidation tactics are not new as Zanu PF always employs the same tactics before national elections.
In January, ZimRights director Okay Machisa was arrested and charged by the police in Harare for allegedly conspiring to ‘commit voter registration fraud and publishing or communicating falsehoods.’
Machisa becomes the fifth to face similar charges after Leo Chamahwinya, Dorcas Shereni, Tanaka Chinaka and Farai Bhani were arrested last year and are still being held in remand prison.
The MDC’s position is that the resurgence and obvious perpetuation of a culture of impunity that has permeated the Zimbabwe body politic lately, is totally unacceptable and should be stopped forthwith if this nation is to move forward.
It is even more ridiculous that such unpleasant developments are happening at the backdrop of Zanu PF leader; Robert Mugabe’s repeated calls for peace and the need for violence free elections.
As much as Mugabe has been declaring such good intentions, the behaviour of State institutions and some of his party stalwarts points towards some very disturbing irony.
The clear selective application of the law and continued raids by the Zimbabwe Republic Police is ridiculous and puts paid to our call for serious reforms of institutions, including the security sector realignment before holding of the next elections.
It is in light of such unacceptable developments that the MDC reiterates its call for a realignment of all institutions of the State which have a direct bearing on the holding of free, fair and peaceful elections.
Our benchmarks in Conditions for a Sustainable Election in Zimbabwe (COSEZ) remain as follows;
1. The adoption and implementation of an agreed new Constitution for Zimbabwe.
2. Reform of legislative requirements for the elections:
a) Adoption of a new Electoral Act which incorporates, regional and international standards governing the conduct of elections.
b) Media reforms that include the issuing of community radio licences to impartial and non partisan organisations.
c) Repeal of all legislation that restricts the freedom of movement and association in Zimbabwe including POSA, AIPPA, the Broadcasting Services Act and the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act.
d) No member of the uniformed forces and intelligence service should participate in any way in electioneering on behalf of any political party, individuals or any other organisation.
3. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be in charge of all electoral processes including:
a) The Appointment of non partisan and impartial staff to manage the affairs of the commission.
b) Preparing of a new voter’s roll.
c) Provide voter’s education on a national basis.
4. Official election observers and monitors to be in place six months before and six months after the election to:
a) Ensure the eradication of state sponsored violence and intimidation.
b) Guarantee the secrecy, security and integrity of the vote and the voter.
The MDC wishes to point out that it is also aware of the fact that scores of soldiers and their spouses are registering to vote in the coming national elections in suspicious circumstances that are believed to be part of a Zanu PF ploy to rig in the next elections. The soldiers are registering at the Tredgold Building in Office 16 in Bulawayo, which office is responsible for the army led Maguta Programme.
The voter registration exercise for the public was halted in Bulawayo last month amid speculations that the Registrar General’s office only allows people aligned to Zanu PF party to register to vote. Scores of people are being sent away from registration centres while police and army personnel are being allowed to register to vote.
A visit to the Tredgold building revealed that ordinary people are not being allowed to register to vote. This trend is now widespread with about 40 people being arrested in Lupane a fortnight ago while trying to exercise their right to vote in the coming local and national elections.
The MDC condemns the selective registration process of people which targets security personnel and people aligned to Zanu PF. The exercise is flawed and reminiscent of the rogue processes employed by the drowning party towards democratic elections.
The MDC remains steadfast in the march towards a new democratic dispensation, which recognizes and respects the rights of every Zimbabwean. The time has come for every Zimbabwean young and old to define your future through your vote.