We are all mere mortals before one God!

HARARE - I have been a victim of police brutality countless times in my life, the most unforgettable being in 2007 when I was part of a group of MDC cadres who were assaulted for almost a week in a police station before being imprisoned for months on trumped-up charges of trying to unseat the government through acts of terrorism.

Me, a terrorist?

Only the mad would believe that nonsense but that is vintage Zanu PF for you?

The more it appears senseless and illogical, the more likely Zanu PF will do it!

I did time in prison with Phillip Katsande, an MDC veteran who was shot by police at his home in Budiriro on the same trumped-up charges of terrorism that later spectacularly collapsed like a deck of cards in a competent court of law.

To this day, Katsande has kept his infectious smile; years after police shot him.

He still has a  bullet lodged somewhere in his body for charges he knew nothing about.

He continues to speak with certainty that the change we seek will definitely be achieved in our lifetime.

But the memory I will take with me to my grave is of the inimitable Tonderai Ndira, a close friend and colleague abducted and murdered by state security agents a few days after we were acquitted!

Well, that was a morbid encounter with cruel, cruel fate.

But last week, there was an interesting but tragic twist of fate!

No sane person, except the vile among us, would want sickness or violence to visit anyone!

It started with the vile who wished Morgan Tsvangirai dead to the extent of publishing, in spangled banner colours, celebratory headlines to the effect that the popular MDC leader was terminally ill.

Lies were published with a celebratory tone that Tsvangirai had had a nervous breakdown; that he had developed a serious mental problem, collapsed at his home and was now detained at a Harare hospital.

A day later, God did what he knows best.

It was police commissioner Augustine Chihuri who collapsed in broad daylight in the presence of multitudes of people including the head of State.

We all felt sorry for the police commissioner and the only difference is that his story was not on the front page of The Herald because the wrong guy had collapsed!

His story did not even begin to speculate that he was terminally ill because that was a script reserved for lesser mortals like Tsvangirai, on whom you can speculate on anything without any legal or political consequence!

Yes, commissioner Chihuri passed out at a pass-out parade, but cruel fate was not done!

At the same pass-out parade, President Robert Mugabe gave a stern warning that any demonstrations would be severely dealt with by our able police.

The media reported that this was a stern warning to the MDC which had frequently hinted it would call for constitutionally permissible demonstrations against the declining economic situation.

Our security agents were ready to severely deal with demonstrators, so the president told us!

Barely 24 hours later, an apostolic sect in Budiriro taught us a lesson or two about the vigilance and readiness of our police force to deal with any riotous situation!

My heart bleeds for fellow journalist, Relax Mafurutu who was seriously assaulted by members of the apostolic sect on the day that journalists belatedly celebrated press freedom day.

The lesson is that when we want to needlessly flaunt our power and authority, sometimes God exposes us.

You may enjoy the illness and speculated “collapse” of Tsvangirai but 24 hours later, only God can make you see a whole police commissioner collapsing in broad daylight!

You may think demonstrating MDC supporters will be taught a lesson by the police but in a mere 24 hours, it is the police themselves who may be taught a violently and needless lesson by ordinary members of the vapostori sect speaking in tongues.

Violence is cruel regardless of whomsoever is the victim, even if the victims are the police who in 2008 tortured me and many others for the simple crime that we were MDC.

We should never talk or write of sickness in a celebratory tone, whether the sick person is Tsvangirai or Chihuri.

We are all mere mortals before the eyes of God!

Cruel, cruel fate has its own unique way of teaching us basic lessons.

In a mere 24 hours, for all their bravado and pretence at vigilance and toughness, the police were exposed twice.

Not only did the police chief collapse a day after the state and its media hacks had celebrated Tsvangirai’s indisposition,  the police were given a thorough hiding by members of the vapostori of the Johane Masowe eChishanu sect in Budiriro when we were told the security forces would effectively deal with assumed mass protests by the MDC.

Yes, Budiriro taught us that the police can also run for dear life even if seven years ago they themselves shot dead MDC activist Gift Tandare in Highfield  and beat to pulp Tsvangirai and others in a police station at Machipisa!

Last year, we buried a colleague, William Bango with permanent injuries sustained through vicious police assaults in a police station!

I was part of the group of MDC cadres that was tortured for a whole week at Harare Central Police Station by the same security egants who were constitutionally supposed to protect us.

Seven years ago, on Saturday, March 31, 2007, as we struggled to sit in court after several days of torture at Harare Central Police Station, the ZBC reported with glee on the “arrest of MDC terrorists”, never mind that we had not even been tried, let alone convicted of any offence.

Get well soon, brother Mafurutu.

We must abhor violence with equal vigor, regardless of whether the police are the victims or the perpetrators!!!!!!

We must say No to violence as a nation, whether against MDC supporters at a police station at Machipisa or against police officers in Budiriro!

We say no to any of us collapsing, or to wishing each other death, whether the sick person is Tsvangirai or Chihuri!

The simple lesson of the past few days is that misfortune can befall any one of us, regardless of our station in life or our political affiliation.

My point is that the law, in ALL cases of violence, must take its full course without prejudice and without bias.

We have seen that we can all be victims of violence, even if yesterday you indiscriminately beat up others!

We expected the so-called public media to make the same noise against violence, whether that violence is against the police or against MDC supporters.

Why is there so much noise from state agencies and institutions against violence when only yesterday the same institutions maintained the silence of the grave when some among us were beaten and tortured by the same security institutions that today are on the receiving end?

Tragedy and violence is regrettable and should be condemned in any society, but there is a sobering thought emanating from the needless violence in Budiriro.

We are all mere mortals in the eyes of one equalising God!

*Tamborinyoka doubles up as the spokesperson to former Premier Morgan Tsvangirai and the director of information and Publicity in the MDC. He writes here in his personal capacity.


    Comments (4)

    At last you are coming to your senses with the realisation that we are all equal before the great equalising God! How many times have you people been admonished for celebrating the president's alleged failing health? Countless times! Now that your favourite fool is on the receiving end you panic and cry wolf. I'm glad you now realise how frustrating it is to always deal with liars, although in this case I'm inclined to go with the liars. I hope next time you'll be the first one to clamp a hand over your overzealous press' mouths when they start propounding unsubstantiated fairy tales. Good luck with your spin doctoring, slow learner.

    Kunta Kinte Dread - 3 June 2014

    Tamborinyoka, you are twisting facts here!!! You are supposed to do a bit of research before spewing hogwash. The police and one Ndanga were the perpertrators of violence in Budiriro. They went to disturb some people who were worshipping their God. Ndanga is just an overzealous guy who is like a madman who has picked a whistle. Unfortunately, the police have accepted to be used by this guy to achieve his own ends.

    Mahwani - 3 June 2014

    this is a powerful piece by Luke Tamborinyoka. At the end of it all, we are just but mere mortals prone to the mishaps of life like sickness.

    oracle - 3 June 2014

    Well if it's one think you MDC's will agree with you Zanu's is that we are all mortals before God. But I can speak on behalf of every single person I know when I say that you are both no longer representative of our nation. Plenty chances and what's the result/ Disaster. Same goes for your precious God. How many prayers have been offered to him in the last 15 years? Result? Disaster. This country needs an enema.

    Nabu - 5 June 2014

    Post a comment

    Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
    Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
    - Editor

    Your email address will not be shared.