The swift arrest of human rights activists on Tuesday for demonstrating outside the High Court by the police who turned a blind eye to the violence that rocked Parliament Building last week, is a slap in the face of President Jacob Zuma and Sadc’s efforts to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis, analysts said yesterday.
The analysts described this as selective application of the law which should take centre stage at the forthcoming Sadc summit scheduled for Angola next month.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Dydimus Mutasa said the former liberation war party would defend its supporters, should they be arrested.
On Tuesday, human rights activists were arrested and detained as they demonstrated outside the High Court, where the bail hearing of eight MDC-T supporters, accused of murdering a police inspector, was due to be heard.
But by yesterday the police had not arrested any of the Zanu PF supporters who stormed Parliament Building, chanting the party’s liberation war songs and slogans, beating up journalists, an MP and intimidating the chairman of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights, Zaka Senator, Misheck Marava.
The mob manhandled and assaulted Hwange Central MP Brian Tshuma (MDC-T) and almost mistakenly beat up their own, Makonde MP Risipa Kapesa (Zanu PF), before pouncing on Standard reporter Nqaba Matshazi and Financial Gazette reporter Levi Mukarati, while another group outside Parliament went for NewsDay photojournalist Aaron Ufumeli.
Political and social commentator Ernest Mudzengi said the selective application of the law was an indication that President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were contemptuous of President Zuma and Sadc’s efforts to bring normalcy to Zimbabwe.
“They are showing a disregard of Sadc in general and President Zuma in particular after being censured at Livingstone and after the reiteration that the Livingstone resolutions be implemented fully,” Mudzengi said.
Another social commentator, Hopewell Gumbo said: “These two developments will certainly feature in the upcoming Sadc summit and will paint negatively picture of the GPA arrangement as it is a clear indication that the police are being abused by one section of the GNU which is Zanu PF.
Obert Gutu, the deputy justice minister said the two incidents proved the police were biased.
“The rule of law in Zimbabwe has been ‘bastardised’ by Zanu PF over the years. The ZRP has been reduced to a partisan police force that is in reality, an appendage of Zanu PF,” said Gutu.