We give thumps up to every person in Manicaland province for their exhibition of a desire to observe peace and tranquillity in the run up to the 2018 Harmonised Elections. The peace we are currently enjoying serves to show this.
As we move closer to the watershed plebiscite, the Zimbabwe Republic Police invites everyone to reach out, clasp hands together, and embrace the spirit of oneness for the process to sail through without any hassles.
Let us all realise that a major feature of the peaceful environment we seek is the absence of politically motivated crime of any kind and of any magnitude. The Zimbabwe Republic Police has a major role to play in the contribution to a conducive and violence-free environment.
The Police has sounded a call of no to politically motivated violence and as such it is important that we all heed this call. We highlight in this edition of Crime Watch offences that constitute political violence and any other offences that our people run the risk of committing in this regard.
We should all remember that laws that govern the conduct of elections are the very laws that provide penalties for infringement of the whole or any part of the process. It is also important to highlight here that all other laws that govern our conduct in the maintenance of law and order can be invoked to punish unruly conduct even if such laws do not generally relate to elections.
For this reason, we appeal to all our people to take serious cognisance of the fact that the arm of the law is long enough to deal with every conduct, major or minor, to ensure the process is not disrupted or derailed.
Some of the laws that are referred to above include, the Electoral Act, The Public Order and Security Act, The Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act among others.
Crime Watch: Politically motivated violence, related offences
Defacing or removing any billboard, placard or poster published, posted or displayed by a political party or candidate contesting the election except by a person who so published, posted or displayed such a poster or the owner or occupier of the land or premises on which it is published (Section 152 of the Electoral).
It is also an offence to place any bill, placard, poster, pamphlet, circular or other document, writing or painting on, or otherwise that defaces, any building, wall, fence, lamp-post, gate, or elevator without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof(Section 153 of the Act).
The following intimidatory practices are offences as stipulated in section 133A to 133C of the Electoral Act)
Inflicting or threatening to inflict bodily injury upon a person.
Causing or threatening to cause unlawful damage to a person’s property.
Compelling or attempting to compel a person or persons generally to vote for a political party or candidate or not to vote.
Compelling or attempting to compel a person or persons generally to attend or participate in any political meeting, march, demonstration or other political event.
Abducting a person or detaining a person against his her will.
In addition, some of the common offences that are committed and which we should all guard against are those outlined in the Criminal Codification and reform Act Chapter 9, 23. These include Assaults, culpable homicide, murder, public violence, disorderly conduct and various acts of criminal nuisance.
It is important to always bear in mind that you can be part to the commission of the above cited offences in one way or another. This could be through inciting, conspiracy, threats or any attempt made towards the commission of the offences.
Let us also draw your attention to the need to clear and rid our environments of the presence of weapons and other items that can be used to commit crimes of violence. The police in this province has, since the commencement of the election period, published in the local press prohibition orders barring the carrying of items deemed dangerous and as such we appeal to the general public to abide by these orders.
Let us guard against the motivation to commit crime because there can never be any justification to do so. In the next issue, we discuss some of the offences that can be committed by a person at a polling station.
Inserted By: ZRP Manicaland Press and Public Relations