Turning the other cheek

President Robert Mugabe’s statement - that the police were not present to deal with Zanu (PF) violence at the recent MDC rally in Chitungwiza because the MDC did not want them there - is absurd.

When MDC members went to report the violence at the local police station, police refused to open a docket.

Is the president saying that the police only go where they are invited? The lunacy of this statement will be apparent to most Zimbabweans – even those who depend on Zanu (PF)’s patronage for survival in these difficult times. They may choose, for now, to ignore this idiocy on the part of their master – but they would do well to note that their days are extremely limited.

The police should attend rallies as a matter of course. That is their national duty. They are supposed to keep law and order. Anywhere in the world, a mass gathering of members of the public is a potential problem area – and a professional police force would anticipate problems and be prepared to deal with them.

This is particularly so in Zimbabwe today, because of the nature of Zanu (PF) politics.

There is a pattern here – whenever there is an MDC rally, Zanu (PF) supporters attempt to cause mayhem. And criminals take advantage of the situation – they know full well that whatever they do in the name of Zanu (PF) will indemnify them from prosecution.

With regard to the issue of who is responsible for the violence, which Zanu (PF) is so determined to blame on the MDC despite a considerable body of evidence to the contrary, the police have powers of investigation. They are supposedly trained and equipped to find things out. We expect them to do their job.

Apart from all the physical pain and broken limbs inflicted by the violence, the real tragedy is that Zanu (PF) still believes it can bash people into supporting it. Should they not rather seek to gain favour through constructive policies and plans that would improve the lives of Zimbabweans?

Do they not understand that Zimbabweans have tasted true freedom and can no longer be terrorised into supporting a political party? People are not stupid – they know who is beating them. The president should not say stupid things like this – he is only bringing his party into further disrepute.

We applaud the MDC for not allowing itself to be forced to retaliate violently – even by this extreme provocation. It is not weakness to turn the other cheek. Let the war mongers carry on – the MDC should continue with its message of peace and development. The people will choose which party’s policies are best for the country – perpetual servitude and fear under Zanu (PF), or peace with the prospect of development under the MDC.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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