Zimbabwe could be 'too traumatized' for runoff election, Catholic group warns

.- A Catholic peace and justice commission in Zimbabwe has said that it will be impossible to hold a meaningful run-off election between President Robert Mugabe and challenger Morgan Tsvangirai if state-sponsored violence against innocent civilians does not stop.

The Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) reports that the Zimbabwean Bishops Conference’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJPZ) has said that political partisanship among the police and violence from irregular and regular security forces have destabilized the country.

“There are country-wide reports of systematic violence in the form of assaults, murders, torture, abductions, intimidation and wanton destruction of property against innocent civilians whose alleged crime is to have voted ‘wrongly’,” the CCJPZ said in a Sunday statement. 

According to Fides news agency, the teachers’ union in Zimbabwe has said they have been main targets of the violence that followed the March 29 election.  Union representatives said that last week 133 teachers suffered assaults and 496 were interrogated on “electoral matters.”  Over 1,700 teachers have left the country because of threats.

“The population is now too traumatized that a run-off election will only serve to deepen this sad state of affairs,” the peace and justice commission said, noting that many people had been internally displaced and would be unable to vote in a runoff.

In the initial election for president Tsvangirai reportedly won 47.9 percent of the vote, while the incumbent Mugabe, who has held the presidential office for 18 years, won 43.2 percent.  A candidate must win a majority of votes in the runoff election to become president.

CISA reports that the peace and justice commission has said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which delayed reporting election results for weeks, is no longer credible. 

“Regrettably, the conduct of ZEC has seriously eroded its credibility as a neutral and non-partisan electoral umpire. All fair-minded Zimbabweans have lost faith and confidence in ZEC which can no longer be trusted to superintend a run-off,” the CCJPZ said.

The commission has called for the Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union to manage the run-off election and asked for the United Nations to play a supervisory role.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: