Matobo Youth Development Initiative (MYDI) has condemned the political violence targeted at members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members by suspected Zanu PF youths in Ward 2 on Sunday.
The opposition members who included National Assembly members were conducting a meeting ahead of the Saturday by-election when their attackers pounced.
They were reportedly assaulted with some sustained serious injuries while their vehicles were damaged.
In a statement, MYDI Executive Director, Descent Dube said the political actions violate human rights enshrined in the constitution and the political violence has no place in their community.
“As a community-based organization, we condemn any form of violence for political reasons as it affects local communities and the way people socialize since they are related by bloodlines, cultural norms and neighbourly love which is destroyed by violence during campaign period,” said Dube.
He said the local people who have aided and participated in this hooliganism should understand that at the end of the day, they are hurting their parents, brothers, sisters and children.
“Locals in politics must not allow themselves to be used to perpetrate violence, they must shun and resist any activity that violates other people’s rights as citizens of Zimbabwe,” said Dube.
Dube said yesterday’s barbaric actions which led to the abuse of women and youths have reversed the gains of advocating for their inclusion in decision-making platforms.
“These special interest groups will now be afraid to participate in the electoral process because of the toxicity that can be avoided when all political players prioritize peace,” he said.
“In our voter education campaign, we have noted that political violence is shunned by the community yet there are people who come from other regions to perpetrate violence and use locals to target individuals and groups of people. The historical impact of political violence in Matobo has a huge influence on political participation as there is still fear of victimization.”
He implored traditional leaders to attend to matters of political violence and engage communities to shun violence and prioritize peace and uphold cultural values of Ubuntu and respect.
He also called upon the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to take note of these activities and act with impartiality to protect voters and the community at large from hooligans.
“ZEC must take note of the conduct of political players at this critical stage of the electoral process and how it affects voters and the turnout. The claims of voter intimidation and threats must be noted as these affect the credibility of any election outcome, something that the Commission thrives to uphold,” said Dube.