Zim govt reacts to opposition activist’s death as 12 arrested over the incident

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HARARE – Twelve suspects have been arrested in connection with the death of CCC activist Tinashe Edson Chitsunge who met the misfortune when he was being pursued and pelted by a mob of alleged Zanu PF supporters in Harare’s Glenview high-density suburb.

Addressing journalists in Harare on Friday, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe said all those involved in Chitsunge’s death were going to be accounted for.

Kazembe said his ministry was “disturbed” by the recent emergence of pockets of political violence in some parts of the country as the nation prepares for elections on the 23rd of this month.

The Zanu PF politician said the “government of Zimbabwe does not condone acts of political violence by individuals, groups or political parties under the guise of campaigning for the elections”.

“In this regard, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has intensified investigations into the public violence incident which occurred at Chimbumu grounds, Tanaka new stands, Glenview 7, Harare on the 3rd of August 2023.

“My ministry deeply regrets the loss of life which occurred and passes its condolences to the family of Tinashe Edson Chitsuge.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has since arrested 12 suspects in connection with this sad incident.”

Kazembe did not mention if the suspects face murder or a lesser charge.

Police said Thursday Chitsunge, who was fleeing a raging Zanu PF mob, was trying to jump onto the back of a slow-moving DAF truck when he was hit on the head with a stone and fell down, based on witness accounts.

His head was partially crushed by the rear tyres of the truck which was carrying other CCC supporters and was being pursued by the mob.

Police have said the suspects “are assisting” them with investigations.

In his comments Thursday, Minister Kazembe said he has ordered police to arrest perpetrators of violence regardless of political affiliation or status.

“For any form of violence, the people will be accounted for. There are no sacred cows,” he said.

“It does not matter which party they belong to. Whether you are political or apolitical; violence is violence and crime is crime. It will be dealt with accordingly.

“My ministry has directed the Commissioner General of Police to arrest perpetrators of violence without looking at one’s political stature, status, identity or financial muscle.

“Therefore, all malcontents who want to damage the image of the country and discredit the forthcoming elections will have themselves to blame.

“May I urge political parties to assist in the maintenance of law and order by telling their supporters to shun all forms of violence.”

The incident, coming less than three weeks before Zimbabweans vote in general elections, will cast a pall on the plebiscite already undermined by opposition complaints that the ruling Zanu PF party is using state institutions to stop them from mobilising.

Kazembe said police are on high alert to maintain peace during the elections period.

“On the other hand, my ministry has also directed the Commissioner General of Police to put stern measures in place throughout the country to ensure that the harmonised elections are held in a peaceful, free, fair and credible environment.

“The security arms of the government are on high alert to deal with criminal elements decisively before, during and after elections,” he said. – ZimLive