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Zimbabwe Activists Say Election Violence Threats ZANU-PF 'Psychological Warfare'


With election fever gripping Zimbabwe following President Robert Mugabe’s recent call for dissolution of the unity government, many organizations and individuals fear the return of political violence like that seen in the bloody 2008 elections

Human rights activists are describing as psychological warfare reports that ZANU-PF has launched a new operation targeting MDC supporters in rural communities.

An article published Friday on the Radio VOP Web site quoted an unnamed ZANU-PF official as saying the party has launched "Operation Headless Chicken" threatening to behead MDC supporters in the next elections some see coming next year following statements to that effect by President Robert Mugabe.

The campaign was reportedly launched in Mount Darwin, Mashonaland Central province, a ZANU-PF stronghold.

ZANU-PF Mashonaland Central Chairman Dickson Mafios says his party has not launched any such operation.

With election fever gripping many in Zimbabwe following President Mugabe’s recent call for dissolution of the unity government due to seemingly intractable differences among its partners, many organizations and individuals fear the return of political violence like that seen in the bloody 2008 presidential run-off election.

Activists are urging political leaders, including the unity government principals, to avoid loose talk that will fuel violence ahead of any possible election.

Democracy and Governance Manager Joy Mabenge of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe says that if reports about the operation are accurate, then ZANU-PF is now in full campaign mode and engaging in psychological warfare to frighten potential MDC supporters in rural areas.

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