ZimRights comes out guns blazing against post-election retribution

Burnt home

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has condemned in the strongest of terms the rise in cases of political retribution after the 2018 elections, involving arson targeted at the homes of opposition supporters, especially in rural areas.

ZimRights cited a number of cases that have been reported and publicised, where opposition MDC Alliance supporters and polling agents have had their homes and property burnt.

“Equally, disturbing is despite these cases having been widely reported including in the press is the lack of response from the political leaders, especially the ruling party whose supporters are allegedly perpetrating the human rights violations. These  actions fly in the face of the peace pledges that the leadership committed to ahead of the elections and generally make sustainable efforts at long-term national peace and reconciliation efforts difficult in the country,” ZimRights said in a statement.

The human rights body called upon the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, his government and the law enforcement institutions to publicly condemn the targeted retributions.

It added that while the electoral campaigns were relatively peaceful until the Election Day on July 30, 2018, the aftermath of elections has seen cases of political recriminations rising throughout the country.

“This gives the impression that while people’s freedom to assemble and support political parties of their choice were upheld in the eyes of international observers, they are not being respected in retrospect. Such practices already set the stage where future elections will be guided by the fear currently being instilled by crackdowns in the communities,” ZimRights said.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende