No place for violence in Zimbabwe’s elections, Police say

By Promise Dube

Police have warned that anyone who engages in political violence ahead of the country’s upcoming elections will be arrested.

The warning comes after some politicians have cautioned that there could be unrest in the streets following the barring of opposition candidates from the polls.

Last week, the High Court barred parliamentary candidates from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and others in Bulawayo, alleging they filed their nomination papers after the cut-off deadline.

The Supreme Court also dismissed the candidature of independent presidential aspirant Saviour Kasukuwere.

In a statement, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the force would “not tolerate any form of political violence”.

“The police warn individuals and groups engaging in any form of political violence or issuing threats to commit violence or damage property, that they would be arrested without fear or favour irrespective of one’s political affiliation or stature, for the law to take its course,” Nyathi said.

He urged political parties and supporters to be responsible and to report any form of violence to the police.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police urges political parties and supporters to be responsible and shun all forms of violence,” Nyathi said. “Members of the public are encouraged to report any form of political violence, which include threats, intimidation, damage to property or assault, at any nearest Police Station or contact the National Complaints Desk on telephone number (0242) 703631 or WhatsApp on 0712 800 197.”

The August 23 elections are expected to be closely contested, with the CCC seen as the main challenger to the ruling Zanu-PF party.

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