Police pitch peace in poll preparations

Abel Karowangoro

As Zimbabwe prepares for the General Elections scheduled for 23rd August 2023, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commends citizens for maintaining a peaceful environment in the country.

The ZRP, along with other security agencies, has intensified safety measures to create a secure atmosphere for conducting various social and economic activities, ensuring a peaceful, free, fair, and credible electoral process.

Commissioner- General of ZRP Godwin Matanga said in press statement that although the overall environment has been peaceful, the ZRP has encountered minor incidents, including reports of poll disputes, violence, and malicious damage to property.
“In one unfortunate incident on 29th July 2023, five people lost their lives in a tragic event at Mafararikwa Village, Chief Marai, Manicaland Province. Tonderai Muchimwe (43) broke into the home of his niece, Violet Muchimwe (35), whom he was in love with, leading to a fatal altercation. Violet managed to flee the scene, leaving her four children behind, and the situation escalated when Tonderai set the house on fire, resulting in the death of the suspect and the four children. This incident was a tragic outcome of a domestic dispute,” Matanga said.

“Another related incident took place on 30th July 2023 at Chitimbe Village, Chief Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central Province, where three individuals lost their lives after an unknown suspect set their thatched bedroom on fire

“The police have found that one of the victims was previously accused of witchcraft, leading to her expulsion from her son’s home. This case highlights the complex issue of witchcraft allegations in the country,” reads the statement.

The statement further reads that, “In St Mary’s, Chitungwiza, an incident involving Brighton Mazhindu’s (46) house being damaged on 26th July 2023 is currently under investigation. The incident is suspected to be a result of intra-party violence stemming from a dispute between Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates who both sought parliamentary nominations for the same constituency.”

In yet another case of malicious damage to property, Tarisai Musonza’s (48) cattle pens were burnt by unknown suspects at Musonza Village A, Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central Province on 28th July 2023.

Matanga said, investigations are underway concerning the burning of ten huts in Shurugwi, Midlands Province on 30th July 2023. These huts belonged to Zanu PF officials and supporters. Two suspects, Edson Madhuveko (28) and Edwin Madhuveko (21), have been arrested in connection with the incident as the police continue their comprehensive probe.

Matanga, urges all political parties to promote peace and tolerance among their members and supporters, emphasizing that the law will be firmly enforced against anyone attempting to disrupt the country’s peace and harmony before, during, or after the elections.

“As Zimbabweans unite to participate in the upcoming elections, the nation’s collective commitment to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment will be essential to ensuring the success of the democratic process
ZRP remains vigilant in its duty to protect citizens and uphold law and order during this critical period,” Matanga said.

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