There are media reports that Zimbabwe’s police loyal to President Robert Mugabe are threatening ‘war’ against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s supporters whom they accuse of killing a police officer at the weekend.
By Brighton Manhanzva – POLITICAL ANALYST
The Commissioner of police, Mr. Charles Mfandaidze was quoted by the state-controlled daily Herald newspaper saying that the time had come for the police to declare war against all unruly elements, be they criminals or misguided political malcontents. He also said that those who wish to live by the sword must be prepared to die by the sword. He also blamed “opposition political elements” and “pseudo-democratic malcontents” attempting to make the country ungovernable for the killing of police inspector Petros Mutedza. The Commissioner’s statement came amid reports of widespread arrests in the crowded Harare township of Glenview where I come from, as activists of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) went into hiding, fearing for their lives. Petros Mutedza was a police officer who was described by locals as “a thug” who used to confiscate their goods.
Who might have killed Mutedza? THE ANALYSIS…
It is a well-known fact that ZANU PF has a penchant of sacrificing its children on its political altar to cleanse its bruised and battered image. When it does such, it rushes to point its bloody hands towards unsuspecting opponents. In-house assassinations are not a new phenomenon in ZANU PF; to them it is a culture that was inculcated even way before independence. The reason why I am saying this is because The late police inspector, Petros Mutedza, who was stoned to death in Glen View at the weekend was one of the witnesses lined up by the State to give evidence against Themba Mliswa who is facing a charge of extortion.
To the contrary, police are saying that Mutedza was hit on the head with a steel chair when he was leading a contingent of riot policemen to break up an ‘illegal meeting’ by the MDC even though the Movement for Democratic Change is denying that a meeting had taken place. What the MDC is saying is that the police barged into a bar with their baton sticks and set off a melee with the drinkers which led to the murder of the Mr. Mutedza. Still waters run deep I suppose!!!
This incident has heightened tension in the already troubled coalition government between Tsvangirai and Mugabe who has been in power for the last 31 years. The ageing Mugabe is still insisting on holding snap elections this year while critics say that he has not undertaken the political reform he signed up to under the power-sharing agreement almost three years ago. This incident is believed to be the first death of a police officer in the 11 years since Mugabe began using the country’s security forces to try to crush the pro-democracy MDC.
What worries me the most is the fact that anyone in Glenview who is perceived to be on an MDC membership list was being hunted down by the police and lawyers for these innocent souls were being refused access to about a dozen MDC activists who had been arrested on Monday and Mr. Kwaramba, who
is representing them, said that it is really worrying to note that the police are now using this as an excuse to harass the opposition. Police have made no attempt to investigate the killings but instead have harassed people seeking the prosecution of perpetrators. In the last elections in 2008, at least 200 MDC supporters were murdered and thousands tortured by soldiers, police and Mugabe’s militias but no arrests have been made to date.
There is an old English saying: “He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword…. Well, use your imagination ladies and gentlemen.”