Mnangagwa creates courts for politically motivated crimes

Mnangagwa creates courts for politically motivated crimes
Published: 23 April 2018
Zimbabwe has set up special courts to try crimes connected to a presidential election scheduled to be held between July and August this year, police said.

"The judiciary in liaison with the police and other stakeholders has set up special courts throughout the country to speedily deal with politically motivated crimes," Erasmus Makodza, a senior assistant commissioner, told reporters in the capital, Harare, on Monday.

A statement released today by ZRP warning against political violence ahead of elections.

As the nation prepares for the 2018 Harmonised Elections which are due between July and August 2018, the Zimbabwe Republic Police would like to take this opportunity to warn political parties and their members to desist from engaging in political violence as they hold primary elections and during harmonised elections.

Any form of violence, threats or harassment of voters or rival contenders will certainly be dealt with in terms of the country's law. Adequate security provisions have been put in place by the police to ensure primary and harmonised elections are held in a peaceful environment.

In this respect, the judiciary in liaison with the police and other stakeholders has set up special courts throughout the country to speedily deal with politically motivated crimes.

On the other hand, the Commissioner General of Police has set up teams of experienced investigators in provinces to expedite the investigation and compilation of dockets for prosecution. This is in line with section I33H of the Electoral Act, Chapter 2.13.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police has engaged political parties, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and other stakeholders to ensure an environment which is conducive for the holding of peaceful, credible and violence-free elections is maintained.

Let me reiterate that anyone who engages in any form of political violence, will certainly face the full wrath of the law.

The following intimidatory practices which are prohibited under the Electoral Act will not be tolerated-:

- Inflicting or threatening to inflict bodily injury upon a person,
- Abducting a person or detaining a person against his or her will,
- Causing or threatening to cause unlawful damage to a person's property,
- Withholding or threatening to withhold from a person any assistance or benefit to which that person is legally entitled,
- Illegally doing or threatening to do anything to the disadvantage of a person,
- Compelling or attempting to compel a person or persons generally to attend or participate in any political event,
- Through intimidation preventing or obstructing a political party or candidate from campaigning in any election.

We urge the media to continue to report objectively and factually during these plebiscites and tell us all to avoid peddling hate speech and falsehoods

Section 36 (1) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, Chapter 9:23 provides that courts can impose a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment to anyone who commits politically motivated crimes, thus members of the public are accordingly warned.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police appeals to all political parties to cooperate with police officers to ensure the maintenance of law and order before and after the harmonised elections.

B Makodza
Senior Assistant Commissioner
Commander 2018 ZRP harmonised Elections
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