Matemadanda refutes claims of violence

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ZANU PF political commissar and Defence deputy minister Victor Matemadanda has said the ruling party does not use violence to win elections, claiming in papers submitted to the High Court that they are a peace-loving organisation.

This comes after the Election Resource Centre (ERC) filed a court application seeking to have Matemadanda retract his statement in December last year that if elections fail, the ruling party would “use any other means necessary” to defend the revolution.
ERC said the statement by Matemadanda was likely to cause violence.
“His (Matemadanda) utterances cannot be taken lightly.  “They carry the force of authority and directive to members of the ruling party, war veterans and those that fall under his ministerial authority.
“They are grossly reckless, inflammatory and constitute a threat of voter intimidation,” they said.
In his response, Matemadanda said the applicant failed to understand the meaning of his statement.
“The statement that is the basis of this application, if interpreted by a reasonable person, is by no means a threat of violence.
“Clearly, I stated that if elections fail, which is a real possibility in any society, then other means necessary would be employed.
“However, this does not mean that I do not believe in elections for that would make my position as a political commissar redundant, given my task is mobilisation and campaigning for the support of the electorate.
“There are numerous examples where elections have failed to yield clear results, and other means were employed 1to map a way forward.
“The phrase ‘other means necessary’ is an open-ended statement.
“However, I meant any means necessary within the confines of the law. These means may include dialogue, litigation, transitional government or the tried and tested Government of National Unity.
“It is, therefore, surprising how the applicant has interpreted the statement ‘any means necessary’ as a synonym for violence, which is wrong and this honourable court should dismiss it as such,” Matemadanda argued in the court papers.
He added that the application by ERC was nothing more than a perpetuation of the overused narrative that Zanu PF uses intimidation and violence to win elections.
“Zanu PF, like any other party, campaigns for support within the ambit of the law and when it wins, it wins on merit not by threatening the electorate.
“It is public knowledge that Zanu PF is a mass political party which has dominated Zimbabwean politics from independence and does not need the aid of violence to gain voters or to retain them,” he added.

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