Exiled former cabinet minister-turned-opposition-politician Saviour Kasukuwere has urged Zimbabweans to stand strong in the face of continued acts political violence often blamed on some Zanu PF supporters as the country heads for crunch harmonised elections next week.

In a statement Tuesday, Kasukuwere described recent cases of violence as “deeply troubling”.

His comments follow the recent death of CCC activist Tinashe Chitsunge allegedly in the hands of stone throwing Zanu PF supporters in Glenview as the opposition conducted its campaigns in the politically volatile Harare suburb.

CCC supporters also came under violent attack by persons wearing Zanu PF regalia in Masvingo West recently as they went about putting up some campaign posters in the area.

Kasukuwere, whose candidacy as a presidential candidate in the August 23 poll was revoked by the courts under challenge from a Zanu PF activist recently, said the “attacks are not just an affront to victims but a blatant attack on the very core of our democratic principles”.

“We unequivocally condemn these attacks. Our citizens are the lifeblood of this nation and every individual deserves respect, dignity and the right to participate in the democratic process without fear.

“No ambition, no political maneuvering, no narrative can justify the harming of our own.”

The politician called on election observers to also focus their attention on acts of political violence that continue to characterise the tense preparation for the poll.

“To the election observers, both from our homeland and the international community, your role is now more critical than ever.

“We urge you not only to monitor the voting process but to keep a vigilant eye on these escalating incidents of violence,” he said.

Kasukuwere also made a rallying call on victims of the violence.

“To the brave individuals affected by these despicable acts, know that your courage has not gone unnoticed,” he said.

“Your need for medical treatment and support will not be overshadowed by political rhetoric.

“We stand by you and will do everything in our power to ensure that justice is served.

“No Zimbabwean should have to pay the price for exercising their democratic rights. Intimidation, harassment, and violence have no place in a nation that seeks to govern itself by the principles of freedom, fairness and equality.”

The former Zanu PF political commissar also stood defiant, acts of violence will not deter Zimbabweans.

“To perpetrators, hear this: The winds of change are blowing, and they’re relentless. Every act of violence only strengthens our resolve.

“Every innocent life harmed is a beacon, rallying more to our cause. We will not be silenced. We will not be deterred,” he said.