Local civil society groups have condemned the intra-party violence in Movement for Democratic Change saying the growing culture of settling misunderstandings through physical means has no place in modern day democracy.
Following the bloody skirmishes which saw party members aligned to the party’s vice President Thokozani Khupe clashing with those sympathetic to the new President Nelson Chamisa clashing at the Bulawayo Provincial offices, civic groups expressed disappointment that the country’s leading movement was finding respite in violence.
“The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) condemns in the strongest terms the intra-party violence recently witnessed in the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party. Several people were left injured and hospitalized after violence erupted at the MDC-T offices in Bulawayo.
“The growing and noticeable culture of easy resort to violence in solving internal misunderstandings in the opposition party MDC-T is condemn-able,” said ZimRights in a statement released on Monday.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) called on the MDC-T leadership and its supporters to realise that tolerance of differing opinions is a core value of democracy.
“It is imperative for the MDC-T leadership and its supporters to realise that tolerance of differing opinions is a core value of democracy and employing violent tendencies and actions limits the fundamental right of people to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and expression, which are all guaranteed in Section 58 and 61 of the Constitution and Zimbabwe’s regional and international human rights obligations,” said ZLHR in a statement.
Zimbabwe Yadzoka/Mayibuye Zimbabwe leader, Victor Chimhutu said violence does not settle political disputes.
“#ZYMiZ condemns use of violence to settle political disputes #ZYMiZ strongly condemns the violence that occurred at MDC-T offices in Bulawayo yesterday- involving MDC-T members Political violence has no place in the Zimbabwe we want,” said Chimhutu.
He urged the MDC-T family to use peaceful and constitutional means to solve political disputes saying as a government in waiting they are expected to practice alternative politics to that of ZANU-PF.
“We expect them to defend the values of constitutionalism, tolerance, non violence, inclusivity among many cherished values in the pro-democratic movement. We hope perpetrators of such acts of intimidation & violence will be identified and sanctioned accordingly,” said Chimhutu.
However, MDC-T acting Spokesperson, Thabita Khumalo said that the party has dispatched the party’s Arbiter-General and the head of Security and Intelligence, Mr. Giles Mutsekwa to normalize the situation in Bulawayo.