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Opinion / Columnist

The opposition promoting violence and terror

08 Sep 2017 at 06:11hrs | Views
MDC-T, Zanu-PF Violence Picture-by Innocent Makawa
While multiparty politics has become a norm across the African continent, electoral contests have frequently been accompanied by violence.  The violence is mostly caused by the opposition who will be so scared to lose and will cause violence so that they can convince the world to declare the elections not free and fair. There is a need to explore the causes, dynamics and consequences of electoral violence in comparative perspective.

Each time towards elections electoral competition has become the norm. Moreover, the dominance of the liberal peace paradigm in the last two decades has engendered a heavy emphasis on the importance of competitive multi-party elections in post-conflict, weak or unstable societies. Electoral processes are widely regarded as effective mechanisms for managing and resolving conflict, and as key vehicles for establishing, stabilising and consolidating democracy. However, the relationship between democracy, elections and peace has been far from unproblematic and a significant number of provinces across the Zimbabwe have remained vulnerable to forms of election-related violence. Some areas have witnessed widespread and intense violence surrounding elections. Even more common, perhaps, is the persistence of low-intensity violence, intimidation, and manipulation during electoral processes in many areas in Zimbabwe. Despite its proliferation, the causes, manifestations and consequences of election-related violence remain relatively understudied, and the variations in violence intensity across time and space are poorly understood.

The opposition has spread rumours of fear and are trying to cast aspersions on the coming elections.  These elections were framed as a potential threat to security and marked by a pervasive politics of fear, which has significant implications for democracy and the democratic process. All this caused by speculation of violence peddled by the opposition.

The enemies of peace ignore the impact of fear spreading which is in itself against democratic ethics.
Far less attention, however, has been paid to elections that experience more low-intensity forms of the phenomenon. These elections have widely been hailed as being successful and relatively peaceful, seeing a transfer of power from outgoing presidents to new challengers. However, these elections were marked by a significant securitisation of the electoral process and a pervasive politics of fear. The emphasis on order and security, the uncertainty with which the elections were widely perceived, and the low-intensity forms of violence that took place in the lead-up to the elections, on polling days, and in the immediate aftermath, have significant implications for democracy and the democratic process.


Competitive elections test the durability of democracies. Multi-party elections in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been characterized by violence. Even more stable democracies such as Ghana have not escaped the menace of electoral violence. In preparation for the country's seventh general election since re-democratization, the Ghana Police Service in September 2016, identified over 5,000 hotspots where election related violence was likely to occur. Electoral violence was likely to surface in nearly 30 percent of the country's 275 constituencies. What criteria are used in mapping electoral violence hotspots?

It is true that the reason is to be found in urban  position as a political swing area In a country otherwise strongly governed by an overlapping ethnic and regional logic, urban areas  are ethnically diversified and politically split, and may swing in either direction. This renders urban areas highly courted areas  by all political parties, contributing to raising the stakes of elections. Aspiring politicians approach the large number of young people and few adults many of which are ex-combatants - who reside in urban areas in the hope of profiting from the campaigns and promise them short-term benefits in exchange for mobilising electoral support and carrying out attacks on their political opponents. Similarly, in rural areas they make use of local chiefs who are dependent on connections and economic resources to retain their influence. In this way, national and local interests collide in the establishment of mutually dependent relations that contribute to increase the risk of violence around elections in Urban areas. Violence and terror after demonising ZANU PF and the war veterans and using opposition press that depict ZANU PF negatively and culminating with on going lies and libels that portray ZANU PF as an immediate threat to the people. The opposition then foment violence against the masses presenting it as legitimate and even as heroic self defence. The opposition elevates violence as a valid heroic means to achieve political goals while religiously disturbing peace and making the elections look like a sham.

The opposition goes a step further to honour the most loathsome murders portraying them as heroes and role models.

The president in Lupane called for intra ZANU PF youth cleansing. He said in his own words the youth who are perpetrating violence in the name of ZANU PF must be kicked out of the way. In all tense and purposes the president meant kicking Shoko and Rickette out by instituting proper disciplinary measures. ZANU PF youth understood their leader very well that is the reason why Shoko and his violent crew are alive now.

In a shocking turn of events the opposition has jumped in the defence of violence by deliberately misquoting the president and portray  him as a violent agitating man.

One wonders how can the opposition rush to defend the rogue elements and violent youths in ZANU PF.  It was expected that they should praise the president and the first lady for disowning the violent element and propagating peace and love in the country.  There was no urging anyone to engage in any form of violence in any way.  

The scramble to tarnish ZANU PF world wide and soiling the legacy of the president as a reconciliatory machine is unfortunate.     It should be known that the opposition is known to be opposing anything which comes out of ZANU PF.

It is irresponsible for the  opposition to declare the forthcoming elections as violent before even the date is set.
Preempting the elections is a sure way of trying to hide from the reality that they will be trounced.  Their rhetoric on violence is meant to cast doubt and a dark cloud upon our capability as a country to hold non violent elections.

The words of President Mugabe have been twisted by these blood sucking opposition members.
Their hand in the actions of COZWA has been exposed and now they are queuing to defend the rogue elements.

If Cozwa Was ZANU PF why would the opposition grow goose pimples over the shunning of COZWA by the party. What is their profound interest in the internal affairs of ZANU PF. Instead of praising Mugabe for terming the wild they are going to town castigating ZANU PF for admonishing its errand children.      

ZANU PF has never been violent and the appetite of the opposition towards violence has been exposed. Instead of preaching peace the Opposition is spreading fear in down the spines of its people.

In order to deal with their impending loss in the forthcoming elections the opposition  is finding a way to chicken out. Now they are misquoting the president and try to legitimise their fear of losing the elections.

They try to create a case of violence before their doom. This irresponsibility by the opposition is so severe and meant to rubbish the peaceful way we have run our elections which is very peaceful.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk


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Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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