Post election victimization haunts Zimbabwe
9 October 2023
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It is now almost two months since Zimbabwe went to the polls and produced a disputed election result, whose contestation mirrored the 2018 polls.

The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change and its leader, Nelson Chamisa, like in the 2018 polls, continue to protest in all manner in the hope of turning the tables. All we can do at the moment is to simply wish them the best.

Amid all these happenings, it is, however, disturbing to learn that there are some elements who are taking the August 23 and 24 poll disputes to a new low.

These elements are allegedly hunting down Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) presiding officers, polling agents and local observers who manned polling stations where the ruling Zanu-PF party performed dismally.

In its latest report, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum claims that there are “unprecedented levels of post-election victimisation” which it says “are not only uncharacteristic of a victorious party, but pose a severe threat to genuine democratic consolidation in Zimbabwe”.

If true, this will tarnish the image of Zanu-PF.

Zanu-PF has denied the allegations, which have the potential to bring its name into disrepute.

This is not the first time the governing party has been linked to post-poll human rights abuses.

We have seen political activists committing gross human rights violations and even threatening to kill opposition supporters in the name of the ruling party.

However, Zanu-PF has done nothing to clear its name or dissociate itself from such nefarious characters.

The party has not even bothered to cause their immediate arrest. All it has done is to deny its involvement in any of the politically damaging activities.

The NGO Forum cannot possibly create these incidents and this must prompt both Zanu-PF and Zec to jump into action to protect their reputation because it is in their best interests that they get to the bottom of this issue.

If Zanu-PF is a people’s party which respects the country’s Constitution, it must quickly move to cause the arrest of all the people who are tarnishing its image.

On its part, Zec cannot say, as we hear, that it is not aware of what is happening to people whose rights are being violated, especially the presiding officers it employed to help make the entire electoral process a success.

There is no way Zec can turn a blind eye when its reputation is being dragged into the mud for failing to protect its personnel who are being hounded for professionally performing their duties.

Inaction by both Zanu-PF and Zec will only serve to point to complicity and their failure to act will promote lawlessness, a scourge which has far too long haunted Zimbabwe.