The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: President Decries Emergence of Violence

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday expressed concern at the emergence of acts of political violence in some parts of the country and said Zanu-PF will not tolerate such practices.

Speaking after a Politburo meeting at the revolutionary party's headquarters in Harare, Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo, said the President urged Zimbabweans to vote peacefully.

"The President expressed great concern on the issue of political violence. He said we should not have violence and added that the party will not tolerate that nonsense (political violence) whether it is intra-party or inter-party. He wants the people to vote in peace."

Isolated cases of political violence have been reported in some parts of the country.

Hurungwe legislator Cde Sarah Mahoka was severely assaulted three weeks ago in a suspected case of intra-party violence at Zimonja Business Centre in Zvipani, Hurungwe.

Businessman-cum-politician Temba Mliswa and seven other people from Hurungwe have since been arrested in connection with the matter.

Another Zanu-PF official in Makoni West, Cde William Chapepa, was seriously injured on Tuesday after his house was petrol-bombed by yet-to-be-identified suspects.

Cde Chapepa is an aspiring councillor for Ward 11.

A 12-year-old Headlands boy, Christpowers Maisiri, died early this month when a house he was sleeping in with other family members was burnt.

Although police ruled out foul play, MDC-T accused Zanu-PF supporters of carrying out the attack.

Cde Gumbo said the Politburo also discussed the referendum to be held on Saturday and members were briefed by the party's deputy secretary for legal affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa on the Constitution-making process and the remaining procedures that will be carried out if the proposed law is adopted.

"We also looked at the party manifesto that I am leading and will be finalised in a few weeks time. The manifesto will touch on a number of issues that include the land, indigenisation and empowerment health, education and ways to uplift the youths," Cde Gumbo said.

The Politburo also discussed mobilisation of supporters ahead of the elections to ensure a resounding victory.

"We looked at mobilisation and of our people and we urge members to go out and get organised from their provinces, districts and wards," he said.

Cde Gumbo said the discussion of guidelines and regulations for primary elections will now be discussed at a special Politburo meeting likely to be held next week.

However, party members are already on the ground in all parts of the country canvassing for support.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF has introduced new plastic membership cards that will be produced electronically and replace the current paper cards.

Political commissar Cde Webster Shamu demonstrated how the cards would be produced to the President just before the Politburo meeting began yesterday.

"The cards are for easy management of the party and everyone must be online. Every member must have the cards before the primary elections," Cde Shamu said.

He said teams from the commissariat would soon be deployed in all the country's 10 provinces to issue out the new cards.

The party spent US$160 000 on purchasing the new equipment and each province will have five sets for issuing the cards.

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