Police must act on violence

HARARE - Christpower Maisiri’s death, as diabolical as it was, has put into sharp focus the role of police in dealing with politically-motivated cases of violence.

A life of struggles and pain, his 12-year-old boy who was born in the mountains as the mother fled violence allegedly fomented by Zanu PF thugs, was killed in a fireball which destroyed his family homestead last Sunday, in a suspected arson attack.

The Maisiri family and the leadership of the MDC have accused legislator for Headlands Didymus Mutasa for orchestrating the arson.

It is not our duty to accuse people or to exonerate them but what we find strange is the lack of arrests in this case.

Police have ruled out foul play.

It is an abdication of duty by our law enforcement agents — failing to apprehend people whose names have been forwarded by witnesses — choosing to swiftly deny any criminal intent in the death of the hapless 12-year-old boy.

There are so many cases of people who have been murdered by political thugs who are roaming freely on the streets of Zimbabwe.

Tonderai Ndira was brutally murdered and no one was arrested.

Journalist and cameraman Edward Chikomba was abducted in broad daylight and slain for covering a prayer meeting in Highfield in 2007.

Gift Tandare, a cobbler, was slain in cold blood by riot police during the same prayer meeting.

We would have hoped that the partisan tag firmly stuck to our police force would have been removed by making arrests over Christpower’s death.

But why are we not surprised?

It is because our police have gained notoriety for taking instructions from politicians to act on criminal cases when it is actually their duty to enforce law.

President Robert Mugabe has ordered police to arrest those fomenting violence regardless of their status and political affiliation.

This is a big call whose meaning is so ironic, coming in the aftermath of Christpower’s death.

Sadly so far, there has been no sign of arrests being made save for an intra-party violent incident in Hurungwe which has seen fitness trainer and businessman Temba Mliswa being nabbed.

This is the same Mliswa who was arrested more than 13 times facing fanciful charges which collapsed like a deck of cards when he appeared in court.

We need to have confidence in the police force that it can discharge its mandate without favour or bias.

But this remains elusive and the road ahead seems hazardous, at least judging by what is unfolding before us. - Staff Writer

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