Rights group probes Hurungwe violence

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has dispatched its officers to Karoi to investigate the recent outbreak of violence against people linked to independent candidate Temba Mliswa ahead of the June 10 by-elections.

ZHRC is a newly-established national human rights institution with a mandate to promote, protect and enforce human rights in Zimbabwe.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday on the sidelines of the stakeholder consultative meeting on strategic planning for the commission here, ZHRC deputy chairperson Ellen Sithole confirmed the development.

“We are also dealing with recent issues to do with election-related violence in Karoi,” Sithole said.

“Our officers and our chairperson actually went to Hurungwe on Friday. They are still compiling an investigation report which will be used to determine the fate of the matter.”

Mliswa will battle it out with Zanu PF’s Keith Guzah in the elections.

Zanu PF youths last Saturday, reportedly rounded up Mliswa’s workers at his Spring Farm on the outskirts of Karoi and beat them up.

Business at Mliswa’s sprawling properties that include a service station, a restaurant, a thriving farm and a lodge has been brought to a halt with the youths threatening to take it as a way of suffocating the outspoken legislator, who dared challenge the deeply-divided ruling party as an independent candidate for Hurungwe West in the forthcoming by-elections.

Asked about the urgency of the matter, since the elections will be held in less than a month’s time, Sithole said it depended on the case.

“If it’s urgent we look at it on an urgent basis but normally cases take up to 30 days to look at because as commissioners we meet once in a month.

“As for this one, I would think the matter is urgent but we will have to see how we are going to handle it since I was not on the ground.”

ZHRC’s reaction follows similar ones by two human rights groups, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and Heal Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), who have expressed concern over the escalation of political violence in the constituency.

ZPP in a statement last week said the situation obtaining in the constituency was no longer conducive for a free and fair election and appealed for the intervention of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to enforce peaceful campaigns.

HZT also condemned the incident. Mliswa last week told the Daily News that some top Zanu PF officials were allegedly keen on frustrating his march towards retaining the constituency he wrestled from the MDC, and are behind the invasion.

Mliswa also accused the law enforcers for turning a blind eye on the alleged perpetrators of violence. The truculent former legislator has since christened the latest clampdown by Zanu PF as Zanuphobia, drawing comparisons with the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Comments (7)

Va Botha said the black man is good for nothing, they want to make noise. give them guns they kill each other...!!!!

herber - 14 May 2015

The problem is if we continue having a lot of Va Botha type of mentalities in our societies we keep merry-go rounding

carson macate - 14 May 2015

Those that have guns are killing the unarmed and oppressing them.The unarmed are only offering their necks to be cut off.The armed took arms to change what was an unjust system, comparatively it was better than the present.Mnangagwa has said it clearly if you want power take up arms.If you want change it should be painful if it does not hurt it does not work.

mordcai gumbo - 14 May 2015

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