This latest act of brutality by police has raised questions about a Free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

By RUMBIDZAI NGWENYA

ZIMBABWE’S ruling ZANU PF has condemned the violence that has characterised the campaign for the by-elections set for next week, saying it was ready for free and fair polls.

Addressing the media in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha said the ruling party had a proven track record of delivering its promises to the electorate, hence there was no need to coerce them.

“We like the competition; we have no problem with competition, and would like as many political parties as possible to come on board so that we run the race together.

 “So we have no fear, as a party we are ready for competition and we will win, but we want to win in a free manner,” Bimha said.

He said it was unfortunate that there had been violence “but as a party we don’t condone violence from whatever quarter or province”.

“We believe that we need the electorate to vote for us not because we beat them up but because we deliver and we have a track record of where we came from and what we have been doing. We have a clear vision of where we want to go, we have a past and a track record of what Zanu PF can do and the potential it has to move us to greater heights, so therefore we don’t need violence to get people to like us and appreciate us”.

The former Industry minister also said Zanu PF was not intimidated by the opposition. He called on the police to deal decisively with perpetrators of political violence in a non-partisan manner.

 “We would like to appeal to the police to say wherever there are issues to do with violence, they must do their work and no one should interfere with the work of the police who are experts in this area.

Let us give them space to investigate and whoever is behind that violence should be brought to book.

“The problem with violence is that sometimes it’s caused by one person who comes in and throws spanners in the work and we have thousands of other people who will be following procedures. So we also encourage party supporters not to interfere in police work,” Bimha said.

This comes after there have been numerous cases of politically motivated violence in the last two weeks when parties launched their campaigns ahead of the March 26 by-elections.

Recently, scores of people were injured and one killed in Kwekwe after a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally was disrupted by gangs of thugs.

This led to violent confrontations between the thugs and CCC leader Nelson Chamisa’s supporters.

 The commotion began as Chamisa was in the middle of an address, when gangs of youths stormed the venue and started pelting attendees with stones.

Matters were made worse after one of the CCC officials apparently ordered their youths to retaliate, a move which led to more violence.

Chamisa and MDC president Douglas Mwonzora recently also called for peaceful polls. – Daily News