Police must walk the talk


The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) must be lauded for taking over what predominantly must be the job of the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.

The committee on Friday brought together grassroots members of Zimbabwe’s rival political parties under one roof and allowed them to say out their feelings.

Harrowing details of hostilities were spewed and anger vented, but at the end, the meeting served to get the people to look at each other and realise they are indeed human beings capable of living together and even love each other despite their political differences.

Zanu PF top official Oppah Muchinguri was at hand with her gospel of peace. She claimed she had on many occasions been choked with anger and literally murdered political opponents in her heart, but after a visit to Prophet T B Joshua, she had learnt not only to forgive but to pray for her enemies as well.

Muchinguri counselled forgiveness and urged victims of political violence to turn to God so that they will be able to forgive their enemies.

Retaliation, she said, was a dead end.
Muchinguri is a very powerful Zanu PF politburo member with a lot of influence in her party.

Even were she to convince half of the party’s central committee, Zimbabwe would be transformed and overnight, our country would be a better and safer place to live.

Friday’s meeting also brought together victims of police brutality and their alleged assailants. A woman broke down as she recalled how members of the uniformed forces brutalised her and did unthinkable things to her.

She was so bitter one could tell it would take time for her to forgive her assailants.

The police officers present denied any wrongdoing and insisted they were apolitical and partial. These claims need to be supported by police action on the ground.

An apolitical police force should not appear to be bent on arresting only one side of two feuding parties or worse, to provide escort and literally assist one party to attack another.

It is not easy to believe that of the hundreds of reports made to the police by MDC-T supporters and activists over the past half decade, police have failed to locate or to find reason to arrest the people whose identities and places of residence they are provided with.

Sticking out like a sore thumb is the case of Joseph Mwale who, despite High Court orders for his arrest, is believed to be supping with the same police officers that are supposed to bring him to justice.

Riotous scenes witnessed this week at Warren Hills cemetery where the police tear-gassed mourners who were being attacked by suspected Zanu PF supporters can hardly be evidence of police partiality or non-partisanship.

The tomb unveiling at Warren Hills was an MDC-T event and Zanu PF youths had no reason to be there.

Police should have removed those that provoked and not beat up those that were provoked.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police is a professional body whose members should not have challenges distinguishing between spoilers and the provoked and to deal with the situation like a professional police force which is sensitive about being labelled unprofessional, partisan and partial.