In yesterday’s NewsDay, we carried a story titled: Zanu PF youths burn Vapostori shrine, in which it was reported that the youths, led by the party’s provincial youth chairperson Godwin Gomwe, burned the shrine of the apostolic sect that beat up riot police last week.
The youths were “avenging” the beating-up of the police. To the misguided Zanu PF youths, two wrongs make a right.
The story, sadly, was accompanied by a picture which shows a policeman, more like an activist, with a triumphant smile, leading the youths as they were toyi-toying towards the shrine to commit the arson.
This incident shows the sad state of law enforcement in this country engendered by political partisanship.
Where in the world would you find a professional police force accompanying rowdy thugs to commit arson?
It does not take anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the law to reason that if the shrine was the hub of criminal activity as we are made to believe, then destroying it is akin to destroying evidence.
But the ignorant Zanu PF youths, under the protection of the equally ignorant and partisan members of our police force, bragged through Gomwe: “The police are sent by the ruling party which we call government. Security forces are Zanu PF.”
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Such warped thinking has drawn our country back by a couple of centuries.
It is this kind of thinking and lawlessness allowed by the Zanu PF government that has retarded development in this country.
And the leader of the shrine has already been convicted and sentenced by the youths who are allowed to take the law into their own hands: “Ishmael must leave this country. To make matters worse, he beat up security forces and a journalist. It’s unlawful. We don’t want to see them here, never again,” charged the ignorant youths.
In the first place, it has not been proved that Ishmael participated in the violence by his church members.
In the second place, the misguided youths do not see the irony of their actions — committing acts of arson and possibly destroying evidence.
If this sect was involved in criminal activities, why were the members not arrested if there is evidence and witnesses to incriminate them?
Our suspicions are also raised when the head of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe, Johannes Ndanga, revels in the politicisation of a criminal issue.
He was quoted yesterday saying: “No one has the right to push us out in discharging our duties. We came here with your party [Zanu PF] because you invited us as you are in solidarity with our fight against human rights violation so we couldn’t shun you.”
We understand Ndanga is a Christian and as Christians, we are made to understand not to condone any form of violence or any form of revenge, so what was he doing encouraging Zanu PF thugs to commit arson?
Why can’t he let the police handle these criminal issues in a professional manner?
We do not condone violence, but neither do we condone acts where people break the law in pursuit of justice.