Harare, Zimbabwe – May 14, 2023 – The United Zimbabwe Alliance (UZA) has accused suspected Zanu-PF members of abducting and assaulting five of its members in Chitungwiza North on May 11, 2023.
The UZA members were conducting a citizen engagement exercise when they were attacked by a group of men driving a black Honda Fit. The men reportedly used weapons, including pliers, to assault the UZA members. One of the victims, UZA Harare provincial youth leader Tafadzwa Musekiwa, had his ear cut off with pliers.
The UZA members were eventually able to escape and file a police report. However, the police have yet to make any arrests.
UZA leader Elisabeth Valerio condemned the attack and called on Zanu-PF to stop the violence. “This is an affront to democracy and the principles of peaceful and free campaigning,” she said. “We call upon all political parties to condemn such violent acts and to ensure that peaceful and fair elections are upheld.”
The attack on the UZA members is the latest in a series of violent incidents ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2023 general elections. In recent months, there have been reports of abductions, assaults, and intimidation of opposition party members and activists.
The violence has raised concerns about the fairness of the upcoming elections. The United Nations has called on Zimbabwe to take steps to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Zanu-PF has denied any involvement in the violence. However, the party has a history of using violence to suppress dissent. In 2008, Zanu-PF supporters were accused of widespread violence against opposition supporters during the run-up to the presidential election.
The violence ahead of the 2023 elections is a worrying sign for Zimbabwe’s democracy. The country has a long history of political violence, and the current trend is a threat to the country’s future.