Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

Zimbabweans need to do a serious soul searching

16 Jan 2019 at 06:09hrs | Views
What should government do to response to ongoing tensions between police officers the army and communities.

Zimbabwe must sharply condemn the rioters for damaging private property and taking items from local stores: They’re not protesting. They’re not making a statement. They're stealing. Thieves hiding behind protests do spoil the purpose of protest. There should always be a difference between a riot and a demonstration. Any violent behaviour hardens the the skin of the one you are supposed to negotiate with.

We must also direct our criticism towards the government and news media and some politicians--for failing to address the chronic problems of men, women and children who live in poverty and find their opportunities limited because of economic hardships and the failure of those in power to steer people out of economic abyss.

This has been a rolling crisis, This is not new... Zimbabwe as a country, have to do some soul searching.
We must make no illusions that the tough economic measures introduced would make a difference in people's lives. But that kind of political mobilization, Disguised as demonstrations is evil and inhuman.

But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could, without violence. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant,and that we don’t just pay attention to these invitations to violence.

Violence will attract violent reaction and an eye for an eye makes the world blind.
tensions between police and communities around the country are "fundamentally a notional  issue" and there is need for a commitment from elected leaders and  law enforcement leaders to confront this challenge and to demonstrate some determination about trying to build bridges with the citizens that they're sworn to protect." This idea of showing muscle will beget more violence.

Ultimately, this is a problem that the government is not going to be able to solve on its own. It needs all parties to be engaged.
The violence was so severe such that by evening the National Army had been mobilized overnight to help an overwhelmed police force deal with protesters, looters, arsonists and rock throwers wreaking havoc in a city on President ED’s doorstep.

As violence spread Monday afternoon and into the night, the president remained silent away in Russia the nation's commander in chief, had put the problem into the hands if the VP.

Should ED have said more? Could he have done anything that would have altered the course of events? The answer is ED trusts his deputy so he is aware that in Chiwenga the country is in good hands.

He is expected to say more  at a previously scheduled joint news briefing at noon with the host president in the far east of Europe.
For ED, there is a certain sense of déjà vu as Zimbabwe struggles with the aftermath of gruesome violent demonstrations. And the death of civilians apparently at the hands of police.

Many critics believe ED did not show enough passion or persuasion to connect with or restrain angry Citizens after the fuel rise.
"It's not always easy for a leader to gauge the right tone to take -- too angry? not angry enough? -- when discussing the enormous hardships facing his country.

In the case of the shooting in Harare the president could not simply condemn the system as he sits on top of that system. He is likely to praise police and the army in general while calling for reforms to avoid a repeat of the shooting of unarmed youths. To the extent that the  government can be supportive of law enforcement officers as they consider the destruction caused by the demonstrators.

Much of the rioting appeared to have been done in poorer parts of the country by economically disenfranchised residents, those who could feel empowered only through acts of violence.

"The people on the street openly sided with a political party turning a civic demonstration into a political demonstration.
Chamisa’s response will be like Those who participated were opportunists who took advantage of a defensive and reactive posture that they knew our police had to assume. Many of our members accepted the president's posture of restraint and remained focused on the issue of price hikes". Mark my words

"The government can be a partner with police and army on this issue,
The prosecution should prosecute cases of police violence and violence this could bring warring segments of the community together. it's political leaders that have to resolve this problem through better recruiting and training of police officers in the spirit of service, not the spirit of adventure."

The violence wasn't just a local issue alone it highlights the need and opportunity to address economic policy. It is however clear to many that the president needed to convey what he thought about the situation.

Will we see another enquiry in the name of another retired leader. It will be wonderful if the next commission will be headed by the former president of Zimbabwe.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: