'Barbaric' MDC violence 'scaring away investors', says Zanu-PF

Harare – Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has warned opposition political parties to desist from violent activities, saying that they should conduct themselves in a manner that is "acceptable to the citizens" ahead of the country's crunch elections later this year, a report says.

Zanu-PF's harsh warning came amid intense infighting within the country's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party - over the party's top job, following the death of its long-time leader Morgan Tsvangirai last month. 

The party's power struggle between - presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and two deputy presidents Thokozani Khuphe and Ellias Mudzuri - surfaced even before the death of Tsvangirai on February 14

Some of the party's youth allegedly aligned to Chamisa had in recent weeks been involved in violent acts, attacking Khuphe and other senior leaders. 

Following the incidents of violence, Zanu-PF's spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo issued a stern warning saying that the "intra-party violence" within the MDC was "scaring away would be election observers and investors", according to New Zimbabwe.com.

"We as government condemn any form of violence. Of late, we are witnessing some barbaric activities championed by some opposition parties' intra-violence and this cannot be acceptable in any civilised society.

"We also want to be very clear that as the president has said, the coming election must be free, fair and credible. Indeed, having invited observers from all over the world we do not want observers to fear to come because of some activities we are witnessing from some opposition political parties; activities which would scare away would be observers, activities which would also scare away would be investors," Moyo was quoted as saying.

Zimbabwe was set to hold its elections before the end of July after President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently pointed to an earlier date than expected following the ousting of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

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Mnangagwa, 75, took office in November after a shock military takeover ended Mugabe's 37-year reign.

He vowed to hold fair elections to ensure Zimbabwe "engages the world as a qualified democratic state", signalling a break from Mugabe's era

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