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THE United States and Western embassies accredited to Zimbabwe have voiced concern over the re-emergence of political violence which saw the shock axing of two Zanu PF supporters by a party activist weekend.
However, Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni was quick to tell NewZimbabwe.com the State was in control of the situation while laying the blame on opposition leaders.
In a statement, the EU delegation to Zimbabwe described political violence as unacceptable and urged the arrest of the perpetrators.
“The EU delegation is deeply concerned about recent incidents of violence against members of political parties,” said the embassy, in a statement which was endorsed by the Norwegian and Swiss embassies.
“Intra or inter party political violence and intimidation are totally unacceptable anywhere.
“Those responsible for such violence should be brought to justice. The EU encourages all parties to respect democratic principles and contribute to a peaceful, just and democratic society.”
The US embassy also noted “our grave concern over the reports of recent incidents of politically motivated violence in Zimbabwe”.
“Acts of intimidation and inter- or intra-party political violence are unacceptable in a democracy, and those responsible for instigating such violence should be brought to justice,” said the US embassy.
“We call on all parties to respect the democratic principles that are set out in Zimbabwe’s constitution and which will contribute to a peaceful, just and democratic society.”
While past cases of politically motivated violence have seen opposition supporters routinely targeted mostly by state actors and militant Zanu PF supporters, the current Zanu PF internal fissures have seen party activists also turn on each other.
Ousted party MP for Hurungwe West Temba Mliswa’s bid for re-election was choked up by violent incidents blamed on state agents and Zanu PF supporters in May this year.
Violent clashes also rocked parts of Harare in the past two weeks when Zanu PF and MDC-T followers clashed at Hopley Farm leading to the highly condemned arrest of opposition supporters only.
Zanu PF supporters in Highfields also took time to bludgeon each other during a party restructuring exercise in the suburb.
What has though set alarm bells ringing was the gruesome murder of two party activists in Chitungwiza by a fellow party member who later took his own life while in police custody.
Reached for comment, Mguni sought to limit the recent skirmishes to opposition supporters he said were being incited by their leaders to attack the police.
“Political violence is incited by leaders saying ‘don’t fear the police, go and hit them’,” said Mguni, while referring to recent clashes between protesting MDC-T followers and the police.
Reminded that Zanu PF supporters were also attacking each other, Mguni said the incidences were regrettable but played them down as a manifestation of intense competition by party activists ahead of a Zanu PF conference this December.
“Obviously when a big and revolutionary party like Zanu PF is going to congress, people differ but we are educating our people that they should not resolve their differences through fighting,” Mguni said. source-newzimbabwe