GWANDA — Political parties have been cautioned over their instigation of torture and violation of human rights in communities as the country heads for watershed elections scheduled for next month.
Report by Own Correspondent
Commemorating the International Day Against Torture on Tuesday, Gwanda residents urged each other to stop being used by political parties to torture members of other parties in a bid to silence them.
Speaking at the event, Pastor Phathi Samaria Dube of the International Ministries of Christ Tabernacle, cautioned politicians over their instigation of
political violence in communities, as the electorate was still in shock over past violent acts during elections.
“Politicians have done enough in instilling fear among communities and they should be
aware that they need these same people to vote for them. With continued violence, people are going to be afraid to go and vote,” he said.
“When elections approach, communities begin to panic and become afraid because this is the legacy that the Zimbabwean elections have left behind, fearful communities with bodies to bury and wounds to heal.”
This was part of a series of commemorations facilitated by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (Zimrights) under the theme “The Right to Rehabilitation. Let’s make this right a reality.”
The organisations’ director Okay Machisa said the country’s history of bloody elections needed to stop in the coming elections in order to promote democracy.
“Zimbabweans have suffered so much because of State torture with the peak being 2008, and with these coming elections, we as a human rights organisation are saying No, to political violence and all other forms of torture that have plagued the country,” he said.
“The country needs to uphold all standards of anti-torture and as Zimrights, we are in solidarity with victims and survivors of torture. We urge all stakeholders in this country not only to speak but also act.”