The Zimbabwe Republic Police on Monday arrested three MDC-T activists in connection with inter-party violence that rocked Epworth on the outskirts of Harare on Sunday.
The violence reportedly occurred after suspected Zanu PF activists stormed an MDC-T rally shortly after party leader Morgan Tsvangirai had left the venue.
Police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi identified the suspects as Moses Chindanga (26), Kholwani Makina (29) and Alex Makina (33).
The arrests came as Zanu PF and MDC-T officials traded accusations over which party had sparked the violent clashes. It is commendable that the police swiftly moved in to arrest the suspected perpetrators of the violence.
It is, however, unbelievable that the police would arrest only MDC-T activists for the violence, which also involved the ruling Zanu PF party apparatchiks.
For the record, Tsvangirai visited some of his party’s injured supporters in hospital, but the ruling party has not been able to avail any concrete evidence to prove its claim that its supporters were injured in the skirmishes.
The partiality exhibited by the police in this case does not bode well for the country’s citizens, as it appears partisan politics have played a part. This in itself does not inspire confidence in the populace against the backdrop of the 2008 violence which was chiefly perpetrated by Zanu PF and supported by security forces.
Zimbabweans do not want a return to that dark era. The conduct of the police must never at any time bring back the memories of the dark 2008 era where almost 300 opposition supporters lost their lives for daring to support MDC-T while thousands of them were maimed or skipped the country as it became too dangerous for them.
In the same vein, we commend Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri on his statement indicating that any lawbreakers would face the wrath of the law.
Chihuri must, however, ensure that his words are translated into action to inspire confidence in the bulk of Zimbabweans who are tired of the partisan forces.
Zimbabweans must be able to live side-by-side even though they might support different political parties. But this is only possible if the police remain steadfast in their quest to keep peace in the country.
Nobody is above the law. If anything, the law must take its course whether one belongs to the ruling party or otherwise.
Being a member of Zanu PF should not be a passport to step on the rights of the Zimbabwean masses.
Now that it appears campaigning for the 2018 elections will start early this time around, Zimbabweans urge the police to be steadfast and keep peace for the benefit of economic growth of the country.
The police and all the political parties involved must condemn the violence and discipline their supporters starting with Zanu PF, which has outright control of the levers of power including the security forces.
Violence in any form must be condemned, Zimbabweans want peace and not war.