by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News) – LIBERATION war veterans and ruling party officials have intensified a crackdown against perceived opposition members as Zimbabwe degenerates into conflict amid deepening economic crises.
A human rights group alleged deprivation of food and other aid to people deemed to be opposition supporters as well as harassment and intimidation of people expressing their frustrations about poor living conditions.
Ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front (ZANU) PF representatives nationwide are accused for the violations.
The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) also reported involvement by war veterans in intimidation, assault and coercion of people to contribute funds towards Heroes Day celebrations coming next Monday and Tuesday (August 12-13).
Last week, Deputy Minister of Defense, Victor Matemadanda, who also leads the War Veterans Association, warned that the government would deploy the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) to crush any protest against the economic crisis.
“Such incidents are indicative of continued increases in human rights violations, most prominently cases of intimidation and harassment,” ZPP lamented.
The army has brutally responded to previous protests resulting in some deaths.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has struggled to revive the economy.
Zimbabwe is officially experiencing hyperinflation. The resuscitated dollar lost 41,57 percent value during July.
The country is also experiencing rolling power cuts of over 17 hours daily.
ZPP stated the violations were on a steady increase from 57,9 percent in April to 62,6 percent recorded cases in July.
“This indicates a continuing toxic environment and notably these violations are around food and other aid distribution,” it stated.
– CAJ News