Zimbabwean police warns political parties against violence as nation gears for polls

HARARE, — Zimbabwean police on Monday urged political parties to desist from engaging in political violence as the nation gears up for elections scheduled for mid-year.

Political activity has increased in the country as political parties step up preparations for the polls.

“Any form of violence, threats or harassment of voters or rival contenders will certainly be dealt with in terms of the country’s law,” said senior assistant commissioner Erasmus Makodza.

He said police had put in place adequate security provisions to ensure primary and harmonized elections are held in a peaceful environment.

He said police would descend hard on those who engage in any intimidatory practices including preventing any candidate or political party from campaigning and forcing people to attend political events.

He warned that perpetrators of politically motivated violence could be sentenced up to a maximum period of 10 years in jail.

Zimbabwe’s previous elections have been marred by political violence and President Emmerson Mnangagwa has emphasized the need for the nation to uphold peace and avoid violence to ensure the country holds free and credible elections.