Political Violence In Zimbabwe A Mirage in the Mirror
13 January 2023
Spread the love

By Dr Masimba Mavaza | Zimbabwe is preparing for a general election anytime from June to July. This is a second election since the new dispensation. Zimbabwe has been written off as far as peaceful elections are concerned. Elections have always been associated with political violence and always our elections have been discredited because of violence.
It has become imperative that someone always stands to benefit from the political violence.
Zimbabwe has seen its opposition always given a victim card and always covered in the blankets of victims of violence. Those who stand to benefit from the violence have always caused the violence created it and fake it so that they remain under a thousand blankets of victim hood.
We must always remember that Political violence is a beast that is multiple-headed.
At its rudmentary form, it takes a character of direct violence which is akin to criminal activity. The only difference would be the motive. There are more complex and subtle forms of political violence.
Election violence is a specific form of political violence. It is conceived to and directed at influencing election outcomes.
There are more subtle forms of election violence as distinct from direct and unsophisticated criminality. The former is even more lethal because it is hard to prosecute under criminal law.
It is easier to accuse any government of the time for political violence because the state holds a monopoly of legitimate violence. These coersive instruments includes state guns, prisons, powers of arrest and detention etc. The state-citizen contract permits this monopoly to be used on our behalf in return for collective security and prosperity. This legitimate violence hunts down our enemies and protect our peace. It is not political violence. It is too easy to falsely accuse the state when it is excersing its power.
Opposition parties do not yield legitimate violence.They may employ both direct and indirect violence.
Indirect violence is strategic violence. This is when a political party or other grouping falsely create a situation of mistrust, and ridicule of state institutions so as to cause loss of confidence in state organs. This sophisticated approach results in disobedience, unpatriotic behaviour and hate. That is a fertile ground for violence. It gears citizens to a mode of unrest. It prepares citizens for outright denial of election outcomes where the rulling party is in power. It also creates typical conditions for polarisation and violence. This makes the whole election system a fuss. Zimbabwe always goes into elections which are already marred by the opposition media.
Electoral violence includes any acts or threats of coercion, intimidation, or physical harm perpetrated to affect an electoral process or that arise in the context of electoral competition.
Political violence is violence which is perpetrated in order to achieve political goals and it has become common that Zimbabwean opposition has benefited very much in the dust and smoke of the violence. The Western world has always sponsored the violence and descended into the arena where they become part of the violence. They have assumed the role of peace keepers and observers. But their presence in the arena has clouded their eyes and they have become part to the violence.
The American ambassador to Zimbabwe was once intercepted on his way to Marsh Central where he was going to campaign against ZANU PF.
Even where there is no violence they will create it or simply condemn violence even if it’s not there.
The British member of Parliament and a Lord are known to be sneaking in the country to motivate and create the violence which they will generate.
The West is quick to classify criminal activities as political violence in order to discredit the elections and give the opposition power to fight on in their losing battle.
Election-related violence has significantly hindered the meaningful engagement of young people in electoral processes. Their mindset is planted on a belief that election means violence. Elections are one of the main pillars of democracy. However, elections can trigger violence when fundamental human rights such as the rights of association and expression are violated and when certain segments of society are unable to engage with political processes.
The opposition and their handlers control social media. The use of media including social media to intimidate and harass is an increasing form of election-related violence. It can also be used to create a fake violence to boost their arguments that they did not lose.
In countries with a history of electoral violence, young people are often involved as perpetrators or victims of the violence. That is because they are often used as foot soldiers by politicians and armed groups that want to disrupt polling. As long as youth are vulnerable for political and military exploitation they will be hindered from fully participating in electoral processes. 
ZANU PF is aware that Preventing the eruption of election-related violence is the way to preserve the integrity of elections and democratic systems is thus fundamental to a country’s long-term peace and stability. Reducing the risk of election-related violence is a complex proceeding that requires “[building] general trust among key players, including media, security services, political parties, civil society, and others in crisis prevention programmes.Therefore, political parties in conjunction with other electoral stakeholders, should take action to reduce the risks of electoral violence and enhance peoples’ sense of security and freedom in exercising their right to vote. 
The violent video from Mashonaland East Murehwa is a very bad example of Zimbabwe. It is not even what ZANU PF stands for. ZANU PF Mashonaland East chairperson Daniel Garwe (Moyo Muzukuru) says he was deeply pained by the brutal assault of several elderly Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members in Murewa last week. “I am pained by what happened in this area…We said experts should go and investigate….Zanu PF does not tolerate violence, it’s a peaceful party. That’s the only party that brought peace, there’s no other party. In some countries you hear about terrorists and bombings, here there is peace. This peace was brought by Zanu PF.”
There is passive violence when it is not physical but still has results which are the same as other forms of violence.
Crying wolf when the coast is clear is another form of encouraging violence.
So violence can never go unnoticed. A growing fraction of the election violence seem to be breaking out on the Zimbabwean front and in the last few decades it has acquired a reputation as a hotbed of violence and warfare. Social conflict and political violence in Zimbabwe is a complex subject, this is because the violence is perpetrated by the victims who deliberately slap a sleeping lion and expect it to smile.contrary to the jarring images of violence and famine that tend to characterize Western imaginations, violent civil conflict is quite a rare phenomenon in Zimbabwe.
It is only blown out of proportion by the prophets of doom who always want to see Zimbabwe fail.
There is evidence that since ED Mnangagwa came to power cases of political violence disappeared. The hot cruel violence in Zimbabwe is prevalent only in the Western Newspapers.
The most talked about video which was circulating in the social media of elderly CCC members allegedly being beaten by ZANU PF youth has ignited the fire of decampaining ZANU PF.
The Western press and as we will all see in few days British parliament will be going to lunch with the allegation that political violence is caused by ZANU PF.
Political violence in Zimbabwe is said to be rising and more complex than before. But it is surprisingly witnessed only in the Western papers and having been reported by the CCC who have occupied the permanent victim cardholder position.
Outbreaks of election-related violence can be devastating, but experience has shown that they can be prevented if and only if the West does not exaggerate the situation on the ground. The need for improved efficiency of electoral violence early warning and prevention is increasingly undermined by those who make noise and confuse a criminal action and electoral violence. Good practices – developed nationally, regionally and globally – offer useful
understanding of the phenomenon and of what can be done to improve prevention and mitigation. The President of Zimbabwe has always supported the establishment of national infrastructures for peace, which are also mandated to coordinate early warning, prevention and mitigation of electoral violence, helps to ensure that the
impact of such efforts is maximised. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has acted professionally and have treated any form of violent seriously. They have arrested perpetrators of violence regardless of which party they come from.
Zimbabwe knows that Election-related violence represents an acute security and development challenge. To that end Zimbabwe has advocated for peace and tranquility. To those who are violent bent will always be found under the sting of the law. Calamity will be upon them. Violence causes human suffering and death, destroys local communities and infrastructure, creates economic hardship and harms peoples’ trust in democratic processes and institutions. So the president of Zimbabwe who is a lawyer himself is an ardent advocate of peace.
Zimbabwe is well aware that Violence around elections increasingly captures the attention of donors and practitioners, who invest growing resources into enhancing the safety and security of democratic practice.
Therefore it can not allow violence to manifest in Zimbabwe.
ZANU PF has always condemned violence. Accusing ZANU PF of violence is mischievous and totally provocative.
It is true that there are people who are expecting Zimbabwe to erupt into violence. We must be able to see that and stand for our country. Those who cause violence in the name of ZANU PF must be disowned. ZANU PF and violence must never be in the same sentence. We must actually be persuaded by the words of the president that violence has no place in Zimbabwe.
What happened in Murehwa must be condemned if it indeed happened. If it was acting the actors must be arrested. Our elections are our pride. We must not spoil them by allowing few misguided idiots to destroy the fruits of our liberation.
Zimbabwe is the only country we can call ours and we must protect it with our blood.

[email protected]