We must shun political violence

HARARE - It is sad we continues to record cases of politically-motivated violence — a good 36 years after independence — when we expect the country’s citizens to be mature, politically.

We believe Zimbabweans must accept divergent views whatever these are about, including politics.

There is wealth in diversity and systems that embrace each other’s views are more likely to prosper as well as register significant strides in their pursuit of democracy.

On Wednesday, Zimbabweans woke up to the news that the home of People First coordinator for Murehwa South James Jowa had been torched. A message that read “Pasi neGamatox” was inscribed on the walls of one of the houses, signifying the presence of a political hand in the dastardly act of arson.

This comes hard on the heels of the hospitalisation of Anthony Shingadeya, a senior MDC official in Mbare — a political hotbed in Harare.

These incidents may be far isolated and appear unrelated but they might well be the tip of an iceberg.

Zimbabweans must not forget 2008 so soon, especially the period that preceded the June 27, presidential run-off, when hundreds of mainly opposition party supporters were killed, maimed or left homeless in well-coordinated campaigns.

It is important that government walks its talk on zero tolerance to political violence. Zimbabweans have suffered enough. With the tight liquidity crunch, an impending drought likely to cause the starvation of thousands, staggering unemployment statistics and general economic malaise, who in their right senses would exert their energies on fighting their neighbour for political expediency.

Enough is enough. The wounds from atrocities of yesteryear are still fresh in some people’s memories and reminding them of these is traumatic to say the least.

Besides, that this is happening at a time when efforts are underway to operationalise the Peace and Reconciliation Commission sounds absurd.

What makes it even more worrying is that perpetrators have usually been suspected Zanu PF supporters, who happen to be the governing party. When political violence is State-sanctioned, it is difficult to control because, more often than not, law enforcement agents are powerless.

Government must take a position on political violence and all perpetrators must meet the same fate, irrespective of the political party they belong to. This way, Zimbabwe may be able to contain this monster which is spreading across the country.

Politicians must learn to use persuasion in selling their messages to the electorate and not resort to violent means. Coercion has always been counter-productive and must be shunned by all right-minded Zimbabweans.

We must all say no to political violence. It may not make sense now until it comes to haunt you at your doorstep.

Comments (2)

ZANU PF knows VIOLENCE and it can create it where its not in existence.

Mukanya - 29 January 2016

The head should read..."ZANU PF must shun violence"....it is the only party responsible for violence in this country.

mukwerekwere - 30 January 2016

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