Zim Needs New Government To End Crisis
Harare, February 28, 2012 – The Zimbabwean crisis needs an election that
ushers in a legitimate government chosen by the people, according to a
report by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN).
“Elections are meant to provide citizens with real and genuine opportunities
to make choices. Let the citizens speak through the ballot,” noted the
report entitled: Zimbabwe Election Support Network consolidated Ballot
update 2011 an analysis of 2011: Respect for human rights and implications
for free and fair elections.
It noted that differences in political ideologies as well as lack of
political will to reform remain evident, characterised by increased
polarisation, hate language, simmering violence and tensions in Zimbabwe’s
“The need for political reform remains alive and critical in Zimbabwe as we
prepare for the referendum and the general election.”
The report was compiled after 210 observers had been deployed in the country
throughout 2011 to monitor Zimbabwe’s political situation.
The report among others noted that Zimbabweans were coerced to attend Zanu
(PF) gatherings against the spirit of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
“Thirty-three percent of reports revealed that people were forced to attend
Zanu (PF) meetings. This undermines the notion of voluntary participation in
political party activities,” stated the report.
Zanu (PF) was able to conduct meetings to the exclusion of other parties
because it was not subjected to the rigorous requirements to convene
meetings as was required for the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formations and civic organisations. In addition, about 27 percent of people
were forced to buy Zanu (PF) membership cards.
The report also showed that over 60 percent of Zimbabweans were not free to
express themselves even through wearing partly regalia unless if the regalia
belonged to Zanu (PF). Violence was a real threat in most parts of the
“In 30 per cent of cases, observers reported political harassment to
citizens such as threats of violence, forced attendances to political
meetings and denial of the right to read newspapers of their choice,” read
The report stated that the existence of different forms of violence can be
explained by the activities of various groups such as the Mbare based
Chipangano militant group backing Zanu (PF) in Harare and the presence of
war veteran leader Jabulani Sibanda in some provinces such as Masvingo in
2011. In areas such as Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central, the
presence of political “bases” which were later dismantled accounted for the
presence of violence. While the report noted that in some cases the
existence of the bases was denied, they were a cause for concern because
they served as places of torture and where gross acts of human rights
violations were perpetrated.
The observers noted in the report that there was no political will to come
up with a new constitution given the false starts to the process and the
many disturbances that followed the process. Political party preferences
also affected smooth progress of the constitution making process.
In the area of national healing only four percent of apologies had been
made.”Observers’ reports reveal that 96 per cent of the victims have not
received any compensation for losses suffered due to human rights
violations.”The Organ on Reconciliation and National Healing has been viewed
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