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Mugabe Urged To Restrain Violent Followers

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By Staff Reporter

Harare, June 16, 2017 – A LOCAL rights group, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has urged President Robert Mugabe to restrain his followers who have reportedly gone amok in attempts to boost crowds for the veteran leader’s Mutare youth interface rally on Friday.

Under controversial provincial affairs minister for Manicaland, Mandiitawepi Chimene, Zanu PF supporters have been linked to acts of intimidation on businesses and ordinary citizens while demanding money for President Mugabe’s rally.

Market stalls near Sakubva stadium have also been razed down by the local authority with Chimene also reportedly giving unroadworthy vehicles the green light to ply the route to the venue to boost crowds.

The ruling party leadership has allegedly called for the closure of businesses and schools temporarily for people to attend the rally.

In a statement, ZPP said this was in violation of citizens’ rights to choose their own parties to belong.

“The constitution says in Section 56 that all persons are equal before the law and have the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

“The pronouncements by Minister Chimene have the effect of elevating ruling party supporters above the law,” ZPP said.

ZPP continued: “Section 67(1)b stipulates that every Zimbabwean has the right to make political choices freely. This means that citizens may not be coerced into attending political rallies or making monetary contributions to parties that they do not support.”

The rights group said acts of political violence could increase if political parties did not restrain their followers from visiting abuses of opponents.

“ZPP reiterates that the main message to the youths should be that of desisting from perpetrating political violence.

“Since there exist other political parties other than Zanu PF and it will be prudent for the leaders of Zanu PF especially the President and First secretary of Zanu PF to impress a culture of tolerance amongst the supporters of the party in general and amongst the youth specifically.”

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