Labour movement warns on Zimbabwe’s rising political temperature, calls for early deployment of elections observers

By Japhet Moyo

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is worried by press reports of escalation of politically motivated violence incidents, in particular arsons, that are reminiscent of the June 2008.

 These gory incidents, the latest being the arson attack on Tendai Nyachuru, a kraal head in Mazoe, come at a time when the election season is encroaching upon us and instead of Zimbabweans looking forward to choosing national leaders of their choice freely, they are dreading the whole process.

 ZCTU is concerned that in some sections of government, it is business as usual with national leaders seemingly paying lip service in calling for cessation to violence. Prospects of a free and fair harmonised election are fast fading given the insincerity of political leadership in dealing with violence.

 ZCTU believes the re-emergence of politically motivated violence could have been stemmed if the country had gone through a process of sincere truth finding, justice, reconciliation and reparations for violent incidents of the past. The lack of security, state institutions and media reforms have also not helped the matter because we continue to see traces of institutionalized violence and hate speech.

The international community cannot guarantee a free and fair poll in Zimbabwe hence the onus is on us as Zimbabweans to fight for what we believe in despite the adversity.

 The ZCTU fears a situation where communities will be forced to retaliate as this will spell more doom for the country.

 The ZCTU demands that police stop dithering on arresting perpetrators of political violence without fear or favour. Zimbabweans need to go to the polls under a peaceful environment.

We also demand that political leadership in Zimbabwe place the interest of the masses above narrow political interests. They should commit themselves to consolidating, defending and maintaining democracy, peace, security and stability and this should go beyond grandstanding in the media.

 We also call upon the early deployment of elections observers from Southern African Development Community (SADC) and International community to monitor the environment right from the voter registration process until after the announcement of results.

 Japhet Moyo is Secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions

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