The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has urgently called upon the government to cease the operations of Forever Associates Zimbabwe (FAZ) due to ongoing acts of terror inflicted upon local communities by this affiliate of Zanu-PF.
Zimbabwe recently concluded its general elections, an event that garnered criticism from the opposition group, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), and various Election Observer Missions (EOMs).
As reported by these election observers, the electoral process unfolded within a highly restrictive political atmosphere marred by violence, arbitrary arrests, and the utilization of lawfare tactics.
In an effort to foster a peaceful post-election environment, the Forum has proposed a series of recommendations, imploring the government to cease its targeting, persecution, and assaults on civilians, members of civil society, and political adversaries.
Among these recommendations, the Forum underscores the urgent need for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to promptly disclose the findings of investigations into all incidents related to the election, along with the identities of those responsible for instances of police brutality against civilians.
Furthermore, they call for the expansion of civic and democratic spaces to enable the active exercise of the rights to assembly and expression.
Most notably, the Forum emphasizes the immediate cessation of FAZ’s operations, as it continues to unleash terror upon local communities.
According to the Forum’s assessment, both the pre-election and post-election periods starkly deviate from the principles of the International Day of Peace (IDP).
They point to a consensus regarding key findings, such as a pre-election political climate marked by restrictions on assembly and expression, the use of lawfare against civil society organizations (CSOs) and political opponents, clandestine acts of violence, including voter intimidation orchestrated by FAZ, arbitrary arrests of CSO members, human rights advocates, and legal professionals, instances of police brutality, excessive use of force, arson, harassment, intimidation, abductions, arbitrary arrests, and attacks against polling agents.
These developments, as noted by the ZHR NGO Forum, are in direct contradiction to the fundamental principles of the International Day of Peace, which seeks to eradicate all forms of violence, including the covert violence that was prevalent during the 2023 Harmonised Election cycle.