Anger over Zanu PF 'Nazi tactics'

HARARE - Human rights watchdog, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), has reacted angrily to a proposed plan by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF to place stickers on supporters’ homes ahead of next year’s watershed elections.

In a statement, ZPP said Zanu PF is taking notes from the Nazi era when Germany was under feared dictator and war monger Adolf Hitler.

“The Zimbabwe Peace Project learnt with shock that Zanu PF intends to mark its members’ houses with stickers.

ZPP finds this move rather objectionable.

“From history one would understand that during the Second World War, Jewish homes and businesses — and then the people themselves were daubed with the ‘‘Star of David’’ and hated by their communities,” ZPP said.

Addressing a Zanu PF inter-district meeting held at Masvingo Teachers’ College last week, Masvingo provincial party chairperson, Lovemore Matuke reportedly said it was mandatory for every Zanu PF supporter to have a sticker on their doors for “easy identification”.

“You are supposed to have stickers at every household so that we identify you. Our real supporters should have them wedged at their places. If you do not have that sticker at your place, you will be skipped,” Matuke is reported as having said.

With elections looming and Zanu PF’s political life hanging precariously in the air, Matuke’s comments are likely to evoke memories not only of Gukurahundi but the 2008 atrocities that reportedly claimed the lives of at least 300 opposition supporters.

“ZPP sees this as a direct move to harass and intimidate the electorate on the eve of a very crucial election.

The Zanu PF party has in the past used freebies such as food and agricultural inputs to lure voters.

“We realise that people’s rights are going to be violated as a result of this proposed Zanu PF identification process,” ZPP said.

“There is no doubt those stickers would be used to identify people who do not support Zanu PF, who would then be victimised during and after the elections. The whole move is designed to instil fear in the hearts and minds of the electorate and it violates the people’s freedoms of association and the rights to freely choose a political party of their choice.”

ZPP called on all the parties in the fragile coalition government to “strongly consider the lives and welfare of the people before, during and after the elections in 2013”.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo was unavailable for comment as his phone was unreachable.

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