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Political violence persists after elections, rights group says

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) has called on the police to intervene and put an end to political violence, which has persisted in Zimbabwe even after the elections.

The latest outbreak of political violence occurred on Thursday in Harare when Zanu PF and Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporters who came to demonstrate solidarity with their elected councillors clashed violently.

This was after the Harare City Council swore in 59 new councillors.

40 councillors were elected from the CCC, five from Zanu PF while 14 more came via the women’s quota system, with the CCC having 10 and Zanu PF having four.

According to the Forum, a CCC supporter was injured by a stone thrown by a Zanu PF supporter during the skirmishes.

“Post-election violence continued to rear its ugly head once again after Zanu PF and CCC supporters who had come to show solidarity with Harare City councillors who were sworn in on September 7, 2023, at Town House clashed violently,” said the Forum.

The Forum expressed disappointment that these political violent acts happened before the presence of police.

“The violence took place in the full glare of the police who did not act as hordes of Mbare Zanu PF supporters went on a rampage. We call for police to act and end political violence,” said the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

However, reports from the state-controlled media reported that unruly opposition CCC supporters who came to witness the swearing ceremony dressed in party regalia sang and threw yellow balloons in the council chambers from the gallery, interrupting acting Chamber Secretary Warren Chiwawa who presided over the proceedings together with Harare Town Clerk Hosea Chisango.

Meanwhile, the Forum said it is currently representing a CCC activist, Daudi Jessub, (40) who was charged for allegedly burning a vehicle belonging to one Manyuchi, a Zanu PF losing candidate for ward 10 Sunningdale on August 22, 2023.

“Jessub is also facing two charges of assaulting unknown Zanu PF supporters. He will appear in court on September 8, 2023 represented by Noble Chinhanu, from the Forum. Jessub is denying the charge, claiming political victimisation,” said the organisation.