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MDC violence must not be glossed over

08 Aug 2017 at 08:30hrs | Views
REPORTS from high ranking MDC-T officials about how the beleaguered opposition party institutionalised violence over the years make sad reading, but at the same time are welcome as they expose the perpetrators of the violence that rocked Zimbabwe since the advent of the MDC.

Yesterday we carried a front page story detailing how MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had once again deployed violence to deal with intra-party dissent culminating in the hospitalisation of his deputy Ms Thokozani Khupe, who; along with party chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo and organising secretary Abednico Bhebhe; were set upon by party thugs linked to Mr Tsvangirai at the party's offices in Bulawayo.

Regrettably, though he convened a Press conference where he made a show of condemning the violence, Mr Tsvangirai sought to shift the blame on the State, yet video footage indicates well known MDC-T hoodlums were at the centre of the violence.

And Mr Tsvangirai was in good company as some normally vocal Western envoys, principally Mr Phillipe Van Damme (EU), and Catriona Laing (Britain), lost their voices as they could not bring themselves to condemn the MDC-T by name but are quick to trash Zanu-PF even without an iota of evidence linking the ruling party to alleged violence.

Shame on them!

Regrettably most of the reports of the MDC-T culture of violence only emerge when the beast eats its own children showing the hypocrisy of those who cry victim yet normally conspire to be silent when the shoe is on the other foot.

Reports that Mr Tsvangirai has given all officials implicated in violence posts in the national executive and the management committee over the years are disturbing as these officials have reportedly used their influence to perpetuate the culture of violencewith impunity.

Tsvangirai's decision, however, does not surprise us as he made his intentions to use violence as a political instrument public way back in September 2000, during the MDC's first anniversary, when he threatened to violently remove President Mugabe by bringing violence to Zanu-PF's doorstep.

Nothing suggests that Tsvangirai did not live up to his menacing pledge, as he has been fingered in the violence that has afflicted the MDC-T over the years.

We have all been given gruesome details of how the MDC-T institutionalised violence, which unfortunately has even claimed the lives of innocents as the timeline we publish elsewhere in this issue can show.

High-ranking MDC officials among them former party vice-president Gibson Sibanda and then legal affairs secretary David Coltart released lengthy reports detailing how violence was left to fester and used to dominate rivals by Tsvangirai and his lieutenants. Ironically, all this was occurring while MDC leaders paraded themselves as saints at the mercy of excesses from Zanu-PF as Tsvangirai once again sought to do yesterday.

What is shocking about the whole charade is the silence from the so-called civil society groups that always produced lengthy reports of alleged violence against the opposition by the ruling party.

Some even compiled dossiers in the run-up to every election alleging that the opposition was a victim of state brutality.

Not surprisingly when police invited them to substantiate their claims they consistently failed to do so, but their allegations have always been swallowed in their entirety by Western nations, who used them to try to discredit the outcome of every election the MDC-T lost.

The concocted reports were also used to tarnish the country's human rights record, and even today various groups always parade those reports at international summits.

We challenge these people to walk the talk and condemn the violence in the MDC-T, as there are clear testimonies complete with the names of the victims and witnesses willing to testify over how the party used violence over the years.

The same goes for the duplicitous Western nations that always pass themselves as the custodians of democracy, we challenge them to prove their commitment to those ideals by condemning the opposition for the violence that flared in Bulawayo.

As said earlier, there is nothing to suggest that MDC-T leaders confined the violence within their own ranks. If they could go to the extent of laying hands on a whole, elected party vice president, to what lengths would they go against people from rival political parties, particularly those from Zanu-PF?

The MDC deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms and Government must seize the moment to correct the damage the MDC-T wrought on our national image over the years.

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