Losing our sense of Ubuntu

The most infuriating thing about the debate on political violence is not Zanu (PF)’s bare-faced denials, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence, that its supporters are largely to blame for the violence and human rights abuses that have accompanied every election in this country since 1999.

It is the arrogant and contemptuous way in which President Robert Mugabe’s party has sought to downplay political violence – as if the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens tortured to death by its goons over the past decade do not matter at all – that is the most galling.

Such intolerable arrogance was, once more, on display last week when Zanu (PF) and Vice President John Nkomo met the German Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Hans Gunter Gnodtke.

As has become the norm whenever Zanu (PF) leaders get a chance to meet any Western official, Nkomo used the opportunity to call for the lifting of Western visa and financial ‘sanctions’ against himself, Mugabe, their families, political allies, friends and relatives.

Nkomo told the ambassador that the punitive measures should be removed because they were trampling on the sovereign wishes of Zimbabweans who had chosen to work together under a unity government.

Not only that, Nkomo said the Western measures should be removed because they were terribly out of sync with reality because there was simply no political violence in Zimbabwe – not even differences between the political parties!

“What the world wants to perceive as differences (in Zimbabwe) are not differences at all but only diverging political views that can be discussed and settled,” said Nkomo.

You are dead right Mr Vice-President! And we should perhaps mention that one of our preferred ways of having a chat with each other over our ‘diverging political views’ is when Zanu (PF)-sponsored thugs storm the venue of an MDC rally, as happened in Chitungwiza about three weeks ago, beating up and stoning everyone there.

Another of our favourite ways of expressing our diverging views is when serving military generals take up the platform to publicly threaten the electorate with murder and mayhem should they not vote for the army’s preferred political party in the next elections.

But the most depressing thing about all this is not the totally irresponsible and attempt by Zanu (PF) to defend and sweep under the carpet the political violence, the real tragedy is the truly appalling levels to which we as a people have fallen. For when the nation’s elders like Nkomo – a man regarded by both friend and foe as quite sensible – seek to defend murder and lawlessness in this way, it is no longer politics. It is sign that we have totally lost our sense of Ubuntu.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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