20 June 2018

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Outstrips Rivals Zanu-PF On Intra-Party Violence - ZPP

Photo: allafrica.com
Opposition leaders Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa, left. President Emmerson Mnangagwa laughs with supporter, right.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has recorded a surprise high number of intra-party political violence cases within the troubled main opposition MDC-T than in the ruling Zanu PF party.

Over the years, political violence was synonymous with the Zanu PF but since the death of the MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the pattern seems to be shifting.

Tsvangirai died February this year after a long battle with colon cancer.

His death triggered fierce power struggles between his deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Nelson Chamisa resulting in yet another party split.

The two are still tussling for the use of the name and the party symbols.

In its June report on politically motivated violence cases in the country, the Jestina Mukoko led peace based NGO said there were more cases of internal political violence in the MDC-T as compared to cases they recorded from within Zanu PF.

"In the opposition MDC-T, 16 out of 19 cases of intra-party violence were recorded, and Zanu PF recorded 3. This was mainly attributed to the chaotic primary elections in almost all political outfits with allegations that due processes were ignored by the parties' leaders," reads part of the document.

The report however said the high number of reports of political intolerance they recorded in the MDC-T in the period under review did not mean that the opposition was more violent than Zanu PF.

"Our records from January 2018 reveal that Zanu PF has recorded more intra-party violence than MDC-T. Our records also show that Zanu PF topped the list in January, March and April while the opposition MDC-T had more cases in February and first two weeks of June," read the report.

"In this entire period up to 15 June ZPP has recorded 62 cases of intra-party violence within Zanu PF and 53 of such in the MDC-T," said the report.

The political violence cases come at a time President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to deliver a free and fair poll while urging his followers and rivals to shun violence.

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