The tensions between the G40 and Lacoste factions of Zanu PF seem to be continuing in communities with no easy solution in sight. From reports received in the month under review citizens perceived to be G40 are being targeted in all manner and sorts. When former Vice President Joice Mujuru was expelled from Zanu PF citizens perceived to have been her supporters suffered abuse to the extent of being denied food and other aid when distributions were conducted in communities. History seems to be repeating itself with G40 loyalists. Food aid should not be used to settle political scores rather standards for food aid distributions should be followed. Tensions are also growing between aspiring candidates as primary elections draw closer. The situation does not bode well as primary elections are due soon. It is in the best interest of Zanu PF to arrest the growing situation so that when primary elections happen issues dividing communities that have the potential of threatening peace are addressed.
While the opposition MDC-T is wriggled in leadership challenges at the helm these are still to be experienced at the local level. The peaceful conduct of primary elections are hinged on political parties formulating regulations that will reduce conflict and give all party supporters the opportunity to enjoy free, fair and credible elections.
The mantra for free, fair and credible elections in 2018 will remain rhetoric unless steps are taken to arrest the growing tensions in political parties in particular Zanu PF where those labelled enemies are being abused.
Contrary to the belief that political leaders cannot guarantee violence free elections, they actually can. Political leaders can ensure that perpetrators account for their actions a clear message of zero tolerance to political and/or electoral violence.
Minimum demands for zero tolerance to all forms of violence in elections 2018
Create an enabling political environment free from intimidation, harassment and threats conducive for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections in 2018
Enforce measures for perpetrators to account for their actions to eliminate political and/or electoral violence
Establish and enforce the operationalisation of investigative committees and multi-party liaison committees
Desist using hate language and slogans that perpetuate conflict and avoid using food and other aid to influence the electorate
Stop traditional leaders, and security agents from instilling fear in the electorate and encourage the establishment of electoral resolution mechanisms.