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Zimbabwe rights commission poll report highlights FAZ menace, ZEC, police bias

by Staff reporter
28 Nov 2023 at 02:50hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has released a report on the August 2023 elections, highlighting the disruptive influence of the Zanu PF affiliated group, Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ), and alleged bias favoring the ruling party by both the police and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

The post-election report from ZHRC also brought attention to complaints against traditional leaders who were accused of intimidating voters on behalf of Zanu PF.

"In various communities, there were reports of individuals being compelled by their community leaders and FAZ members to attend specific political rallies," stated the commission.

"These grievances were reported from rural and urban communities in areas such as Bikita, Zaka, Chipinge, Buhera, Mangwe, Hopley, Chitungwiza, Mutoko, Hurungwe, Rushinga, Vungu, Umguza, Gokwe, Binga, among other communities.

"Some political parties raised concerns about the selective enforcement of the Maintenance of Peace and Order Act (MOPA) by the police.

"This biased application of MOPA led these parties to resort to nighttime and door-to-door campaigns, yet people still feared associating with them.

"CCC (Citizens Coalition for Change) complained that in Bindura, they were denied permission to hold campaign rallies, despite asserting that their notifications adhered to MOPA guidelines.

"Stakeholders reported instances of intimidation, violence, and coerced gatherings by certain parties, often facilitated by FAZ and ZHT (Zimbabwe Human Rights Trust) in areas like Chipinge, Harare South, Bikita West, and Chiredzi West.

"Similar concerns were raised by some business communities, alleging that they were compelled on occasion to close their businesses or provide goods and services at political gatherings, a violation of Section 58 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe."

The August 23-24 plebiscite faced criticism from SADC, EU, and AU election observer missions, which, in their reports, stated that the poll, in which incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa retained his position, did not meet regional and international election standards for credibility.

Despite acknowledging significant irregularities, the government-funded commission concluded that the election, labeled a national disgrace by the opposition, adhered to the country's constitutional provisions.

Source - zimlive