One supporter of the MDC lost his life as a result of that violence, and that is totally unacceptable. The Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has rightly decried the violence that has seriously marred the constitution-making process and declared that the Copac process has failed the test. Be that as it may, let us place the blame where it is supposed to be. Almost 100% of the violence and meeting disruptions were perpetrated by only one political party, Zanu (PF).
The state security forces that have been involved in these evil acts have always carried out their heinous crimes on behalf of Mugabe and Zanu (PF). For example, when the police have been approached by some of the victims of the violence, they have arrested the victims and not the perpetrators of the crimes. The reasons for this approach to the enforcement of law and order are obvious. The ZRP will not arrest Zanu (PF) hoodlums accused of committing acts of violence. The two are on the same side of the political divide.
Zanu (PF) would not discipline the notorious leader of the war veterans, Sibanda, for holding several meetings in Masvingo threatening innocent citizens with death and violence should they not support Zanu (PF) – both in the constitution-making process and in the forthcoming elections. We are also all aware that Mugabe has only feebly discouraged the use of violence for political ends. This is the man who has publicly stated that he has degrees in violence.
It would be naivety of the highest order to think that if the constitution-making process had been spearheaded by an independent commission or by civil society then there would not have been any violence. I can assure this nation that if the process had been led by civil society or by some independent commission there would have been worse violence than we have so far witnessed.
We are writing this constitution at a time when Zanu (PF) is facing popular rejection and ultimate ejection from power. We are dealing here with a highly polarised populace which has still to recover from the trauma of June 2008. Further, the whole process is part and parcel of the long chain of compromises that we were forced into by the SADCs bungling of our negotiations following the 2008 electoral debacle. The new constitution is also going to be a compromise document, but one that will enable this nation to move onto the next stage.
Besides, there are numerous places where Copac meetings were successfully conducted, and where people were at liberty to express their views. The fact that there were disruptions in some places does not mean that it would have been better to have the process spearheaded by civil society or by an independent commission. The DNA of Zanu (PF) is such that the resort to violence and intimidation is the only way that dying party can use in order to stay in power. I personally wish we could include in the constitution provisions that outlaw such violent political parties as Zanu (PF). Zimbabwe would be a much better country without the devilish machinations of former liberators turned oppressors. May God rescue this nation.Post published in: Opinions