The namecalling and counter expulsion continued between Khupe and Mwonzora and the matter is now spilt into the courts where Khupe is claiming a share of the political parties funding that was directed and received by Mwonzora.
Meanwhile, the political environment remained edgy across the country, and the introduction of CCC, which adopted the colour yellow for its branding, saw scores of citizens and activists being harassed and arrested for associating with the party.
Police on 28 January arrested and assaulted five CCC supporters, Emmanuel Gumbo,
Erasmus Nyandoro, Prince Mutebuka and Tatenda Chigwada for wearing yellow CCC regalia.
The five were later accused of blocking a pavement and disturbing the flow of human traffic in central Harare and were released after paying ZW$ 2000 (about US$10) fines each.
Across the country, there were scores of people being harassed and intimidated for wearing yellow in many parts of the country, raising concerns about the low levels of political tolerance in the country.
Interestingly, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) reclaimed the top position on the list of human rights violators in January and contributed to nearly 55 percent of all violations.
While it is not an achievement, Zanu PF, which had topped the list between September and December, went to second position at just over 27 percent compared to last month’s 47 percent.
This remains a cause for grave concern considering that the ZRP is supposed to ensure the security of persons and and property. Municipal police contributed to 10 percent of violations and machete gangs two percent.
The machete artisanal mining gangs caused this month’s fatality when a clash between rival gangs over mining rights at Mavedzenge Mine Block 8 in Muzvezve turned violent. The gangs, who are often armed with machetes and axes and are all over across the country, often have political protection as they are usually emissaries of known top politicians who use these gangs to mine precious minerals.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project has continued to call for the regularisation of mining operations and for an end to the politicisation of mining claims.
We believe that, based on history, machete gangs, if left unregulated, will be an arsenal for political violence ahead and during the campaign period for the 2023 election.
We believe that, based on history, machete gangs, if left unregulated, will be an arsenal for political violence ahead during the campaign period for the 2023 election.
Overally, January 2022 acted a springboard for heightened political activity that is likely to be witnessed ahead of the March 26 by-election and the 2023 harmonised elections.
In other words, election season is upon us and as usual, ZPP calls for tolerance, restraint, transparency and peaceful contestation.