Amnesty International has called on authorities in Zimbabwe to investigate the brutal killing of an opposition supporter at a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally in the Southern African country.
Mboneni Ncube, a 30-year-old man and supporter of the CCC, died after being stabbed, while at least 22 others were seriously injured on Sunday after a machete-wielding gang appeared at Mbizo 4 shopping centre in Kwekwe where the CCC was holding a political rally.
The gang allegedly used not only machetes but also beer bottles, iron bars, spears and bricks to attack supporters while Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the CCC, was giving a speech.
On 26 February, Zimbabwe’s Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga, sent a warning to the CCC, saying the ruling ZANU-PF party would “crush the party like lice”.
Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said in a statement yesterday that the assault bears all the hallmarks of a pre-meditated attack that aims to intimidate political opposition and block access to their constituents ahead of the upcoming by-elections in March.
“The government’s rhetoric has done much to incite such ferocious violence and unfortunately little to ensure the free exercise of the rights to freedom of assembly and association.
“The Zimbabwean authorities must immediately end the culture of politically-motivated violence by refraining from issuing inflammatory statements that may incite violence and they must ensure an impartial, independent and transparent investigation into this attack. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.”