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Zimbabwean Opposition Faces Post-Election Violence, Repression - MDC Alliance

Sputnik News

21:32 06.08.2018

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Sofya Grebenkina - Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the MDC Alliance, has faced violence and repression from the country's military after last week's elections, Tabitha Khumalo, the spokeswoman for the MDC Alliance told Sputnik on Monday.

"Well, as the opposition, it seems like we are going back to 2008 … Now [the military] have come back again and they are doing exactly the same, they are going around and beating up people, torturing them, and worse, the worst political tool that they use is rape. Pregnant women are being raped, young girls are being raped, old women are being beaten up, old men are being beaten up for asking for freedom – nothing more nothing less, and for exercising their right to vote," Khumalo said.

Khumalo pointed out that the elections were held in a peaceful manner, while the army started acting violently after the results of the voting were announced.

In light of the beatings, torture and other violent acts perpetrated by the Zimbabwean army, the MDC Alliance urged its leaders and supporters to try to stay safe as the best way to address the military's violence.

"It is difficult for us to defend ourselves because we don't believe in violence at the MDC. So the challenge that we are having now is that we are fighting a system which is running all the government institutions. So the best thing that we can do is to try and be safe. We are encouraging all Zimbabweans, wherever they are, please be safe," Khumalo said.

Khumalo added that MDC Alliance continued to have concerns over the safety of its leadership, particularly considering that the military had been targeting the MDC Alliance leadership directly.

"All of the leadership of the MDC has to be safe. And obviously, they are going to hunt us down, one by one. If they pick us up they will beat us to a pulp," Khumalo said.

Along with the presidential vote, Zimbabwe also held its parliamentary election last Monday, which resulted in the ZANU-PF securing an absolute majority. According to the final results, the ZANU–PF gained 144 seats out of 210 in the National Assembly, while its main opponent, the MDC Alliance, won 64 seats.

Zimbabwe experienced violent protests during two rounds of general elections in March and June 2008, and presidential vote, with Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T and President Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF competing for the post. In the weeks leading up to the runoff, supporters of Tsvangirai and his party became victims of violent attacks and harassment, which the party believed were sponsored by the ZANU-PF-led government.

During the election period, dozens were killed and thousands became victims of beatings and torture. At the same time, many human rights lawyers, journalists, civil society activists and trade unionists were arrested.


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