from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – REPORTS of intimidation, political harassment and partisan food aid distribution have characterised Zimbabwe despite the conclusion of elections two months ago.
The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) are blamed for most violations as it continues to reaffirm its dominance on the general population after the hotly-contested polls.
Human rights groups reported that at the newly introduced Women’s Development Bank, only card-carrying ZANU-PF women received preferential treatment in accessing loans.
However, within the ruling party, there is an alleged witch hunt against those suspected of having sabotaged President Emmerson Mnangagwa by engaging in the so-called ‘bhora musango’ (kick the ball in the woods)
According to analysts, the ruling party is trying to adjust itself under the leadership of Mnangagwa with arrests of perceived G40 sympathisers. G40 is a now-vanquished faction that supported then First Lady, Grace Mugabe, to assume power ahead of the new president.
The rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance is also beset by factionalism.
There have been reports of candidates as mayors after the opposition party won most urban councils.
Party members have threatened violence against each other.
Reports of partisan food distribution in drought-ravaged area have also been reported, allegedly perpetrated by ZANU-PF councilors.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project in September recorded a total of 124 violations, down from 266 in the election month of August.
The organisation meanwhile criticised the expulsion of some schoolchildren for non-payment of fees since the current term started in September.
– CAJ News