Zim opposition files police report after 'vulnerable youths' destroy election posters

(File, AFP)
(File, AFP)

An opposition party parliamentary candidate in Zimbabwe says that she has lodged a complaint with the police after her posters were destroyed in the country's capital, Harare.

In a Facebook post Linda Masarira, spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change led by Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T), said young people who were likely linked to Harare central lawmaker Murisi Zwizwai had pulled down her posters.

See post below

Masarira said after she had noticed that her posters had been damaged in one of Harare central's township, she tried speaking to the incumbent lawmaker, but he has declared lack of knowledge on the matter.

Masarira said: "These levels of intolerance are sickening. I would expect this kind of behaviour from Zanu-PF. Pulling down posters is a criminal offence. All candidates signed the electoral code of conduct and when one wants to use vulnerable youths to pull down posters and replace them with theirs I will deal with them legally."

This came a few days after Zimbabwean presidential candidates and political parties signed an agreement to run peaceful campaigns ahead of elections at the end of July, according to AP.  

Previous election campaigns in the southern African country have been marked by violence, particularly against opposition parties.

An unexplained blast that narrowly missed President Emmerson Mnangagwa but killed two bodyguards and injured more than 40 people has cast doubts around the staging of the polls but the undeterred president has promised a peaceful, credible election.  

Mnangagwa revealed last week that one of his deputies, Kembo Mohadi, and the ruling Zanu-PF chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri were in South Africa for medical treatment following the unexplained bombing incident, reports AFP.

According to News24, rights groups have expressed concerns over the country's electoral violence ahead of the July 30 polls.

Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg last week, civil society leaders from Zimbabwe said the elections in their country were going to take place in an "environment where the security of citizens is still a major issue".

"There is a huge risk that we may not have a credible free and fair election in Zimbabwe on July 30," Human Rights Watch's Dewa Mavhinga told reporters.

He said although Mnangagwa had made several assurances and pledged to deliver a fair and credible election, there were still major concerns ahead of the polls.

"He (Mnangagwa) is talking the right things [but] it is not clear whether he is walking the talk. The challenge which we have put to his administration is to deliver in terms of concrete steps to deliver credible and fair elections," he said.

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