MDC, Zanu PF blamed for abuses spike

via MDC, Zanu PF blamed for abuses spike 30 August 2014

TOP rights watchdog, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), has fingered Zanu PF and MDC-T as the main contributors of rights violations it recorded last month.

According to the group’s July update, there were 229 rights abuses recorded in July, the highest since February this year.

The Harare-based group, which draws membership from church and other civic groups based locally, cited infighting dogging the country’s two main parties as having contributed to the spike.

“Internal power struggles within the major political parties of Zanu PF and the MDC-T intensified during the month of July, leading to a significant rise in the number of politically motivated human rights violations,” said ZPP.

This, according to the NGO, saw the number of violations rising from 188 recorded in June to 229.

ZPP further cited Grace Mugabe’s nomination as Zanu PF Women’s   League secretary-designate, as a violation in itself. It adds that Grace’s parachuting to become Zanu PF women’s boss violated the ruling party’s internal rules and poisoned the mood within.

“The ruling Zanu PF party set new rules that will see officials who have not served for at least five years in its provincial structures fail to make it into the central committee at its December elective congress,” it said.

“The move set the tone for fierce fighting for positions ahead of the party’s Women’s League and Youth League conferences.

“In clear violation of the party’s own regulations, First Lady Grace Mugabe was in July, at her birthday celebration, nominated to lead the women’s league.

“The party’s regulations stipulated that for one to be elected into the women’s league they should have been a member of the party for the past 20 years and also have previous records of serving at national level.

“Grace Mugabe was tipped to take over from Oppah Muchinguri who has been the women’s league secretary for the past 19 years.”

The group further highlighted the burning of tents and arrests of Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims who were accommodated in Chingwizi as among the most noticeable rights abuses in July.

ZPP, whose past reports have shown MDC-T to be consistent victims of Zanu PF and state-sponsored violence, this time featured the opposition as among the main violators of rights.

“The month witnessed the battle to control the structures in the MDC-T between those on Tendai Biti’s Renewal Team and those supporting party president Morgan Tsvangirai,” says the report.

“A tribunal convened by MDC-T Renewal Team moved to expel party leader Morgan Tsvangirai and national chairperson Lovemore Moyo but the Tsvangirai faction dismissed the expulsion.”

However, the same report established that among the two main parties, there were more victims of rights violations from MDC as opposed to Zanu PF, while there were more perpetrators by Zanu PF as opposed to MDC.

ZPP was formed at the height of Zimbabwe’s violent land invasions in 2000 by a group of churches and NGOs to monitor and document incidents of rights violations and politically motivated transgressions.