MDC-T Senator says ZANU PF running scared of elections
By Tichaona Sibanda
The MDC-T deputy Minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, has said it is becoming increasingly evident that there are those within ZANU PF who are intent, for whatever reason, on disrupting the election process inZimbabwethrough violence.
Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Rebuilding Zimbabwe program on Friday, Gutu said violence in the capital city was now causing increasing concern, with elections in the country set for next year. His opinion on violence is that it’s a signal ZANU PF is running scared of an election.
The spokesman for the Harare MDC-T province was quick to point out that state sponsored violence will not help Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF to remain in power at the next poll.
The Senator’s assessment of ZANU PF comes as the party is in turmoil following revelations by WikiLeaks that many in the party want Mugabe to step-down, citing concerns over his waning popularity and failing health.
His loyalists have cast serious doubt, in secret meetings with US diplomats, over his ability to salvage his ZANU PF party. This has forced the party to call for a politburo meeting next week to discuss the issue. But when the chips are down ZANU PF is renowned for using violence to fight back at its political opponents.
‘Even if they use violence, ZANU PF will be rejected. Without violence we (MDC-T) will win 80% of the vote but with violence we will still triumph with about 72% of the vote,’ he said.
Despite the formation of an inclusive government, the country has failed to shake off a long legacy of political violence, mainly perpetrated by the former ruling party. The deputy minister said it is clear the partisan authorities have also failed to bring suspected perpetrators to justice, or to prevent further human rights abuses.
‘ZANU PF is not used to tolerance. They are addicted to violence because they live in a culture cultivated and fed on lies and deceit. There is multi-party politics inZimbabweand they should transform and learn to live with other citizens in a peaceful manner,’ Gutu said.
Speaking ahead of his party’s 12th anniversary celebrations, to be held inHarareon Saturday, Gutu called on Robert Mugabe to match his words with action on zero tolerance for violence.
‘I know they’re some who have saluted him for publicly expressing his disdain for violence during the opening of parliament. I give him the benefit of doubt and urge him to match his words with visible action,’ said Gutu, adding that recent street violence by ZANU PF militia did not in any way reflect the pledge by their party leader.
He said ZANU PF should put justice, security and human rights at the heart of any election campaign, in order to break the country’s nationwide cycle of violence.
‘We must act to protect people’s lives and all parties should denounce violence and tell their supporters to campaign peacefully,’ Gutu added.
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