Lessons from the vapositori violence

HARARE - Visuals of anti-riot police officers, fleeing for dear life from marauding cane-wielding and evidently blood thirsty members of the apostolic sect on Friday, have created debate across the world.

It is unimaginable that members of the feared anti-riot police could flee from members of the public like that and the first question which the people of Zimbabwe would obviously ask is: Who will protect us?

Police officers, Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) officials and journalists were brutally assaulted by the angry sect members, whose mission was clearly to spill as much blood as possible.

There were so many lessons from the fiasco in Budiriro.

Firstly, it must be made clear from the onset that no one is above the law and these committed worshippers, if they really believe in the God we all worship, should not resort to violence to solve disputes.

In this regard, the police should descend heavily on the perpetrators of this heinous violence and bring them all to justice so that they learn the hard way, that crime does not pay.

Secondly, the mission by the police and the ACCZ was noble. The apostolic sect members are denying children and women their rights and this must come to an end.

Prior to the pandemonium, the ACCZ leader Johannes Ndanga addressed the violent congregants and said: “AS ACCZ we discovered that you denied over 400 children of school-going age access to education. There is rampant physical, mental, emotional, psychological as well as economic abuse of the girl child and women.”

Surely, if these allegations are proved true, then the congregants must be investigated and appropriate action should be taken.

Thirdly, the anger by the sect members and their decision to take matters into their own hands (which they must be severely punished for) is an indication of anger boiling in the minds of most people in Zimbabwe. It shows people are angry with the system and in this case they vented their anger on the police who had only come to do their job — to maintain peace and order.

To the powers that be, this is a clear message that we are sitting on a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Today, it is Apostolic sect, tomorrow it will be another group, probably even larger and uncontrollable.

Lastly, the sight of police officers fleeing from the marauding vapositori should surely send chills down our spines.

Honestly, how do police officers go to such a large crowd ill-prepared for violence? Why didn’t the anti-riot police prepare enough for what eventually happened? Are we safe under these police officers?

Imagine seeing lions fleeing from Zebras. Can the real policemen stand up!


Comments (5)

this editorial is out of place. the moral suasion of the incident is that the police were wrong so deserved what they got

hapana zvawanyora apa - 1 June 2014

Ummm. Violence no but still still... I agree that people are sad with the system but still still.

Amana Dorumin - 2 June 2014

The good question is, why did the riot police go there in the first place? this was not a soccer match where you would expect violence. their mere presence might have provoked this extreme reaction but violence NO.

Gorongoza - 2 June 2014

Violence is not acceptable yes.......Ndanga should have engaged the leaders privately and discussed the issues....he got what he deserved

mbabvudzenyoka - 2 June 2014

The only lesson here is that Dialogue is an absolutely neccesary 1st process before such confrontational statements, baring in mind that this is a socio-spiritual matter. All stakeholders esp from the sect were supposed to be met with separately before the whole congregation was addressed. This could have avoided the violent reaction. The meeting was done in haste without proper consideration and planning and engagement. Issues of authority and jurisdiction should be carefully considered here.

Mr Q - 2 June 2014

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