By Staff Reporter
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) has condemned the recent violence perpetrated against elderly villagers in Murehwa North perceived to be CCC supporters by suspected ZANU PF activists.
In a statement issued on 12 January 2023, and signed by ZCBC President Rt. Rev Paul Horan and vice President Rt. Rev Raymond Mupandasekwa, the bishops demanded the arrest and prosecution of the assailants as well as the provision of support to the victims of the violence by authorities. Reads the statement:
We the members of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) would want to condemn the barbaric act of violence captured on a video that circulated on social media over the weekend.
The most disturbing thing is that the violent acts are meted out against senior citizens, people who should be enjoying the rights brought about by our independence.
What is more worrisome is that the violence captured in the video is politically related. A voice can be heard asking the senior citizens as to what a particular political party has done for them.
As the nation heads towards the harmonized elections, we urge all political players to desist from the use of violence and the use of young people to commit violent crimes.
Violence should not be employed to gain political mileage. The people’s fundamental rights should be respected at all times.
Citizens of this nation have rights enshrined in our Constitution. Among those rights is the freedom of choice, association and political rights.
We would like to urge all parties to be responsible in their campaigns. Sell to the people your ideologies, and convince them with your arguments. As you do so, respect their choices.
There is no citizen who should be intimidated or coerced, and worse still, be beaten to make a choice. That speaks against human dignity.
As a nation we have in the past seen a lot of violence around elections; let this election be different.
The people of this country dream and yearn for a free, credible and fair election. It’s not the casting of ballots that ascertains that, it’s the environment we create before, during and after elections.
It is therefore incumbent on the government, political parties, and all institutions that we create a level playing field.
Equal opportunities should be given to all who want to participate in this coming election. There should be no fear or favour.
Heinous violent crimes such as the one captured on the ‘Murehwa video’ should be condemned by all parties.
We, therefore, call for zero tolerance to violence. The culture of violence speaks against the moral fabric of our society.
To curb nurturing such a culture we call upon the government through its various institutions to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice and may the victims of that violence be protected and given the necessary care.