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Chamisa's murder case; Chigumba writes to Beatrice Mtetwa

by Staff reporter
20 Aug 2022 at 17:06hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba this week wrote to human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa expressing anger over a Zanu-PF official's public incitement to the murder of opposition Citizens' Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa.

Abton Mashayanyika, a bishop in the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission church in Mberengwa, threatened to kill Chamisa for challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa while addressing a Zanu-PF local meeting before the video recording went viral on social media last month.

In his address while speaking in Shona language, Mashayanyika said: "When I say down with Chamisa I mean that he must be killed. Do you hear me? He must die. I say so because I want all of you to understand that. So down with Chamisa and his children."

Mashayanyika's address prompted lawyer Mtetwa to file a formal police report of incitement to murder. She also formally wrote a letter of complainant to Zec, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

In a letter dated 16 August 2022 obtained by The NewsHawks, Chigumba wrote back to the human rights lawyer expressing concern over Mashayanyika's call for Chamisa's murder and violence against opposition politicians in general.

The reference number of the letter is C/13/315 and its subject is "Video inciting murder and violence against opposition party leader Nelson Chamisa."

Chigumba wrote: "The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recognizes the founding values and principles upon which the Zimbabwean constitution is based and does not condone violence or threats of violence against any person, political party or the supporters of any political party."

She also urged restraint.

"Zec implores all political parties and stakeholders to the electoral process to desist from any conduct which might put the electoral candidates and other stakeholders specified in the Fourth Schedule of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2: 13)," wrote Chigumba.

She added that she will follow up on the matter.

"Zec will continue to reiterate this through its multi-party liaison committee meetings as well as its voter education and other public awareness drives," wrote Chigumba.

In an interview with The NewsHawks, Mtetwa acknowledged receipt of Chigumba's letter and said she expected the Zec chairperson to pledge tough measures against Bishop Mashayanyika.

"I am disappointed that Zec has said nothing about investigations of the alleged utterances with a view to have the culprit prosecuted," said Mtetwa, adding:

"I will naturally follow up on both ZHRC and ZRP on progress made in their investigations of the alleged utterances with a view to have the culprit prosecuted."

On 27 July 2022, Assistant Commissioner Taurai Mushoriwa of the Criminal Investigation Department wrote to Mtetwa advising her that investigations had been instituted into Bishop Mashayanyika's incitement of Chamisa's murder.

However, the bishop is still free and has not been arrested.

To the contrary, Citizens' Coalition for Change vice-chairperson Job Sikhala and Chitungwiza MP Godfrey Sithole have now spent over two months in remand prison for alleged incitement of violence after the murder of opposition activist Moreblessing Ali.

Bishop Mashayanyika is on record as saying he will never get into trouble over his incitement of Chamisa's murder because he is "too Zanu-PF to be arrested."

Source - thenewshawks