In yesterday’s NewsDay, an unnamed, but senior official close to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa threatened revenge for the suspected poisoning of President Robert Mugabe’s deputy suffered on Saturday.
The official was quick to blame Mnangagwa’s foes in the rival G40 faction for the incident.
Such an incident is likely to increase temperatures, but it is important that there is calm and a measured response.
This is not the time to make statements that are likely to foment anger and resentment and by so doing could spawn violence.
We sympathise with the Vice-President, as, if he was indeed poisoned, an investigation must be carried out of this heinous crime and the perpetrators brought to book.
The law must act swiftly to bring the culprits to book, because the temerity to poison the Vice-President means the country’s very security is at risk.
As Mnangagwa is in hospital, we hope the tests can prove conclusively what he ingested, as this wlll aid investigations and ultimately this will help bring the culprits to book.
Be that as it may, this is not the time to jump to conclusions, but rather we counsel a tempered response that permits for investigations to bring the suspects to law.
A blame game and finger-pointing is as unhelpful as it is dangerous, considering that political tempers long soared.
It is easy to jump into the realm of speculation and stoke fires, but extinguishing those flames may prove to be impossible and that could have ramifications for the country.
With elections due next year and Zanu PF’s succession issue raging on uncontrolled, it is very easy for such an incident to spark violence or at least revenge plots and this would be detrimental to the country going forward.
Thus, the police, with the help of the doctors, should come forward and explain to Zimbabweans what happened to Mnangagwa.
If there is any hint of foul play, the law enforcement agents should tell the nation what steps they are taking in investigating that matter and if there is no chicanery the case can be closed.
Such an approach will exude transparency and show Zimbabweans that everything is above board and nothing is being swept under the carpet.
Failure to do that will only heighten speculation and increase the political temperatures in an environment that already resembles a tinderbox.
We reiterate the need for level heads in this matter and to allow for full investigations.
Threats to carry out revenge and finger-pointing will not be in the country’s best interests.