The 2018 elections are more than 30 months away but the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai already sees signs that they could be marred by violence, party spokesman Obert Gutu told Voice of America, the United States propaganda station which until quite recently was not allowed to broadcast to its citizens.
"We are seriously concerned by the spike in incidents of political violence. The next election is only coming in 2018 and there are increasing cases of violence, what happens as we get close to the election?.. People will be murdered," he was quoted as saying.
Seventeen members of the party, including Highfields East Member of Parliament Eric Murai, were arrested at the weekend following clashes with the police after police refused to grant them permission to hold a rally.
Gutu said that the arrests were a cause for serious concern as the police deliberately delayed informing them that their request to hold a rally had been turned down.
"It's very difficult for us to communicate with our supporters to tell them that the rally is off because as you know we have no access to the public media. So people who had gathered on Sunday morning, they were then set upon by the police using tear gas canisters, dispersing them [and] beating us," he said.