2008 IN

The escalation of political activity continued into the month of May and
major political parties are now preparing for the general election,
which is due by July 2023. The patterns of intimidation and
harassment, abductions, and assaults implicating the ruling party
continued unabated.
The organization recorded cases where Zanu PF abused its influence in
government to manipulate national processes like the voter
registration blitz, the mobile national documentation outreach, and aid
In this month’s roundup, we dig into these cases and provide detailed
analyses and recommendations.

Between March and June 2008, over 200 opposition supporters were
killed while thousands of others were injured and tens of thousands were
displaced in one of the vilest electoral periods in Zimbabwe’s history.
The systematic targeting of the supporters of the then main opposition
party, the MDC-T, was in response to the party’s parliamentary and
presidential election victory over Zanu PF.
For the first time in 28 years, Zanu PF was facing defeat right in its face
and the party used all at its disposal – the police, intelligence agents, the
military, war veterans and youth militia- to overturn the defeat.
After the orgy of violence, the country was to get into a multi-party
dialogue that led to a unity government between Zanu PF and the
For five years, Zimbabwe enjoyed general political harmony and
unfortunately missed a chance to conduct, for the first time, a genuine,
inclusive and effective healing and reconciliation process to deal with the
conflicts that date back to colonial times.
For those that suffered in 2008, and perhaps in the previous political and
social conflicts, the memories remain vivid.
It is, therefore of great concern that over the past two months, the Zanu
PF government, which was the major perpetrator of the 2008 electoral
violence and other forms of atrocities before that, is on a systematic drive
to intimidate citizens, especially those in rural areas ahead of the 2023
What is more worrying is that Zanu PF ward leaders who are holding
meetings, mostly in the Mashonaland, Masvingo and Manicaland provinces
are promising that the party, together with the state security agents will
unleash violence the same way they did in 2008 if Zanu PF loses in the
2023 elections.
So far, Zanu PF has been responsible for 165 human rights violations in
April and 193 in May, all related to how the party is closing down the
space for opposition activity.
In one of the cases recorded in Mt Darwin East at Chaparira village, Zanu
PF activists led by Christopher Mbereko allegedly besieged the home of a
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter Tendai Kurauone* on the
night of 14 May and attacked him, leaving him seriously injured. The
Zanu PF youths accused the man of working with CCC cheerleader,
Godfrey Karembera known as Madzibaba veShanduko.
*name altered to protect the victim


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