Only Mugabe can end this madness!

HARARE - Attacks on opposition supporters in Mutoko by uniformed soldiers on Friday are a sign that Zimbabwe is far from achieving peace and tolerance we all crave.

It is even more worrying that the last men in line of defence, soldiers — swoop on innocent civilians whose crime is to express their views which they are constitutionally guaranteed.

In fact the soldiers are the safeguards of that independence and its ideals which make us have pride in this country we call Zimbabwe.

But to use knee-jerk tactics as what happened at Mutoko Centre on Friday where one official from Welshman Ncube’s MDC was seriously injured, does remind us of the role security agents have and continue to play in stifling free voices in this country.

The attacks were premeditated as the soldiers patrolled the venue of the rally during an address before pouncing on dispersing supporters at the end of it.

It is a sad reality that the military which was implicated as the key driver of violence which left opposition supporters seriously injured in the state-sponsored mayhem in Mashonaland East Province in 2008, remains bent on instilling fear in civilians.

There are many reports of abuse and violence linked to soldiers and these are consistent with threats that continue to be made against pro-democracy and progressive groups.

Last month, mainstream MDC secretary-general, Tendai Biti, was forced to abort a rally after marauding soldiers invaded his rally in Darwendale.

What we find disturbing is the silence or lack of action to deal decisively with security agents who wantonly abuse people.

We had thought the consummation of the inclusive government would bin the dastard and diabolical behaviour by some within the uniformed forces.

The global condemnation of 2008 presidential runoff violence should have served as a warning to malcontents within the military that the world is watching.

It appears nothing has changed.

While nothing has changed there is every reason to pressure President Robert Mugabe to act on this.
Mugabe has been pilloried and harangued by his critics who claim he has fomented violence against opposition groups.

They base this on his seemingly lack of the will to crack the whip on drivers of violence who are often security agents, war veterans and the vigilante group, Chipangano.

While publicly he has abhorred violence he has, again, publicly failed to deal with those who fan it.

It is either he lacks the will to deal with it, which we highly doubt, or he just loves it.


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