Mugabe/Tsvangirai Should Stop Inflammatory Statements – ZPP

The ZPP is currently lead by journalist and human rights activist, Jestina Mukoko who is currently in Geneva, Switzerland, attending a meeting for human rights activists.

In a statement made available to Radio VOP, ZPP said it strongly believed that it was within the power of the politicians and Zimbabweans at large to contribute to stopping the on-going violence.

“Police officers have also failed to arrest even a single culprit for allegedly causing violence at important national events on the flimsy excuse that they were not prepared,” ZPP noted in the statement. “This has clearly led to the entrenchment of the culture of impunity among most and would be perpetrators of political violence.”

The organisation stated in the statement that it was calling on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to fulfil its constitutional mandate in ensuring that all the perpetrators of violence were brought to justice.

“It has also come to our attention that Zanu (PF) officers have been moving around suburbs in Harare with the intention of expanding the party’s membership base.”

“Our appeal is that they do this in a manner that is not violent and will not result in people’s rights being violated. ZPP strongly believe that no one should be forced to join any political party as it is in clear violation of the people’s rights to freedom of association and assembly as enshrined in the country’s existing Constitution.”

The ZPP warned both President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF and Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T to also stop making political statements that made their members “behave violently”.

President Mugabe recently said elections would be held with or without a new constitution; a statement ZPP said could cause political violence to break out in Zimbabwe.

“The tone in which President Mugabe made the election remark was very authoritative and could seriously result in a number of people’s rights being violated as Zanu PF bulldoze its way to elections,” ZPP said.

On Tsvangirai, it said: “Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, allegedly told MDC-T supporters at a rally in Kadoma that they should not fold their hands when they are attacked. The advice was quite unfortunate considering the fact that politicians hold the ultimate responsibility for their party’s supporters.

“The Zimbabwe Peace Project appeals to the leaders of political parties in this country to go beyond just making public statements denouncing violence and rather they should take sterner actions against their party members responsible for spearheading political violence.”