WASHINGTON D.C. —
The newly-launched Zimbabwe People First party led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru says it is disturbed that political violence is resurfacing in the country after its rally in Harare’s Glen View suburb at the weekend was disrupted by suspected Zanu PF youths.
The suspected Zanu PF youths allegedly threw stones at people who were attending the Zimbabwe People First rally, injuring four of them in the process, while a number of vehicles were damaged.
Acting party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo says his party condemns all forms of violence perpetrated by any political party.
"We all preach peace. We always believe that the solution to Zimbabwe problems is not in mounding violence, intimidation, threats and so on, the solution is to discuss amongst ourselves how best we can acquit ourselves in the light of the terrible situation that we are facing," Gumbo says.
This comes barely a week after some MDC-T youths were also attacked by suspected Zanu PF members in Harare’s Mbare and Kuwadzana suburbs.
Gumbo tells reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that police should be commended for the manner they swiftly restored order at the party rally.
Harare resident and opposition MDC-T member, Zomhlaba Mbanje says the Zanu PF government must be held accountable for any political violence, which he fears may be worse than the 2007/2008 violence if left unchecked.
"We are looking at a very serious situation ahead of us as we are looking at the coming 2018 elections," Mbanje says.
Mbanje says it is only the Zanu PF government that can stop this from growing into a national chaos by arresting and prosecuting those involved in political violence.
"If the government doesn't act fast I can see 2018 elections becoming bloodier than the 2007/2008 elections when opposition MDC members were murdered and tortured by Zanu PF thugs. In fact, I don't see that happening (stopping violence) because the ruling party is benefiting from this violence."
He says he sees problems in Zanu PF giving birth to more opposition from within the party which will in turn lead to more violence.
Meanwhile, Transform Zimbabwe party claimed today that six of its youth members in Chitungwiza were on Sunday abducted and tortured by suspected Zanu PF members, police and members of the Zimbabwe National Army.
In a statement, the party claimed that the six were forced to write forced statements denouncing their party.
The incident was reported at Makoni Police Station. Studio 7 failed to reach the police and Zanu PF chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo for a comment.