Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba has written to human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa over a ZANU PF official’s public incitement to the murder of CCC leader Nelson Chamisa.
Abton Mashayanyika, a bishop in the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission church in Mberengwa, threatened to kill Chamisa and his children for challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mashayanyika issued the threats while addressing a ZANU PF local meeting before the video recording went viral on social media last month.
In a letter dated 16 August 2022 obtained by The NewsHawks, Chigumba wrote back to Mtetwa saying the electoral body does not condone politically-motivated violence.
The reference number of the letter is C/13/315 and its subject is “Video inciting murder and violence against opposition party leader Nelson Chamisa.” Wrote Chigumba:
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission recognizes the founding values and principles upon which the Zimbabwean constitution is based and does not condone violence or threats of violence against any person, political party or the supporters of any political party.
… ZEC implores all political parties and stakeholders in the electoral process to desist from any conduct which might put the electoral candidates and other stakeholders specified in the Fourth Schedule of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2: 13).
… ZEC will continue to reiterate this through its multi-party liaison committee meetings as well as its voter education and other public awareness drives.
In an interview with The NewsHawks, Mtetwa acknowledged receipt of Chigumba’s letter.
She said she expected the ZEC chairperson to pledge tough measures against Mashayanyika. Mtetwa added:
I am disappointed that ZEC has said nothing about investigations of the alleged utterances with a view to having the culprit prosecuted.
I will naturally follow up on both ZHRC and ZRP on progress made in their investigations of the alleged utterances with a view to having the culprit prosecuted.
Mashayanyika is on record as saying he will never be prosecuted for his incitement of Chamisa’s murder because he is “too ZANU PF to be arrested.”
More: The NewsHawks