President Robert Mugabe will have to do more than just repeat calls for peace, non-violence and tolerance for Zimbabwe to believe he is sincere.
The reason why it would be extremely difficult for anyone to take the President’s word as a matter coming from the heart is the manner in which his supporters, in yesterday’s instance, a group of youths who no doubt jump at the snap of his fingers — conduct themselves during or after the President has delivered his peace sermons.
There is no doubt, none whatsoever, that no Zanu PF member, including even the Chipangano hoodlums, would dare defy President Mugabe’s directive, let alone beat up political opponents, and policemen, as His Excellency was in the middle of condemning violence.
The only conclusion would therefore be that the youths have been told the party has not changed its violent ways, that President Mugabe’s calls for peace are just rhetoric and that in fact, the youths had instructions to send this message to those that may have been naïve enough to believe Zanu PF had turned a new leaf and given its back to its degrees of violence.
How else would one explain a scenario where a nondescript group of party thugs dare cause mayhem at, of all venues, Parliament Building, at the grand occasion of the official opening of the august House by none other than President Mugabe, Zanu PF’s most high?
Reports elsewhere in this paper say violence rocked the official opening of the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament.
The source of the violence, according to the reports, was a group of Zanu PF youths who had run amok outside Parliament, beating up anyone they suspected to be an MDC sympathiser, journalists and even policemen.
The reports said the misguided elements, for what else could they be, sang revolutionary songs, remixed to denigrate the person of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who was in attendance.
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They sang at the top of their voices lyrics that likened the Premier to a dog and called him a sellout. Several people were badly injured.
A man thought to be an MDC-T councillor was seen bleeding profusely from head injuries. They had done a thorough job on him.
All this happened while President Mugabe was delivering a speech calling for peace.
“Let us, therefore, in unison, say NO! to violence in all its manifestations,” the President said.
Disbelieving the Zanu PF leader was saying this with his own mouth, MDC-T MPs shouted out loud, asking President Mugabe to repeat his peace call.
The President obliged and repeated the calls for peace. Whether or not the President was aware of what was happening outside where his party youths wreaked havoc, we may never know.
But all we need is sincerity on the part of our political leaders.