A Zimbabwean peace watchdog on Wednesday condemned violence that it said was escalating between rival factions in the ruling Zanu PF party jostling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) called on Zanu PF leaders in a statement to “demonstrate commitment to peace” and “rein in the internecine factional fights, which have gone on for far too long with increasing social cost.”
ZPP cited a “shadowy terror group” calling itself Al Shabaab, saying it was harassing party members in Midlands who travelled to Harare last week to welcome Mr. Mugabe from his Japan trip.
Al Shabaab is originally a Somali-based terrorist organization affiliated to al Qaeda.
“We are concerned that terror elements elsewhere on the continent and in the world at large are allowed to be emulated, and violence unleashed at the altar of factional fights and in the name of political expediency for real or imagined factional leaders,” ZPP said.
“Where are the leaders when such violence is meted out?” ZPP asked. “May leaders demonstrate their commitment to peace in deeds and instruction. May leaders also desist from using speech which fans violence and hate across the factional/political divides.”
ZPP director Jestina Mukoko said they were greatly disturbed by the Zanu PF clashes.
Commenting, Zanu PF parliamentarian Joseph Tshuma said his party doesn’t condone violence, adding the perpetrators must be arrested.