EU con­demns Zim­babwe op­po­si­tion vi­o­lence

African Times - - International / Africa - MERCY MUJURU

THE Euro­pean Union (EU) has ex­pressed con­cern over es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence within Zim­babwe’s main op­po­si­tion party Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC).

Since the death of MDC founder Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai a month ago in neigh­bour­ing South Africa, acts of vi­o­lence, prop­erty de­struc­tion, ha­rass­ment, in­tim­i­da­tion and threats to hu­man life reigned supreme.

EU Am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe, Philippe Van Damme be­moaned the in­tra party vi­o­lence within MDC in­sist­ing the op­po­si­tion was in­creas­ingly los­ing cred­i­bil­ity in the demo­cratic space, hu­man rights and rule of law.

“Po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence has to be con­demned in all cir­cum­stances, loudly, clearly and with­out any reser­va­tions. Po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence is to­tally un­ac­cept­able in the demo­cratic de­bate,” Van Damme said.

The bone of con­tention is suc­ces­sion race among the party’s three deputy pres­i­dents Nel­son Chamisa, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri.

The op­po­si­tion’s na­tional coun­cil last week en­dorsed Chamisa as re­place­ment to Ts­van­gi­rai while Khupe ar­gues she was con­sti­tu­tion­ally elected MDC deputy to the late found­ing leader in­sist­ing she should be the one to takeover.

“They (MDC) have a chal­lenge ..... and they have to ad­dress that chal­lenge.

We hope this will not de­gen­er­ate fur­ther and see also in­tra party vi­o­lence which will have an im­pact on how elec­tions will be viewed,” Van Damme said.

Scores of party ac­tivists aligned to Khupe were over week­end as­saulted at a meet­ing in the coun­try’s sec­ond largest city of Bu­l­awayo by hooli­gans sym­pa­this­ing with Chamisa while prop­erty worth thou­sands of dol­lars de­stroyed.

The Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice (ZRP have since ar­rested cul­prits, among them Bu­l­awayo’s deputy mayor Gift Banda, sev­eral councillors and rowdy youths.

The coun­try’s Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has been preach­ing, peace, unity, tol­er­ance and non-vi­o­lence ahead of elec­tions in or­der to at­tain free, fair and cred­i­ble polls.

Zim­babwe is hold­ing elec­tions in five months’ time. - CAJ News

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