HomeHeadlinesChamisa demands party members’ release

Chamisa demands party members’ release

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has accused the police of “turning a blind eye” on acts of violence by the ruling Zanu PF party, but quick to incarcerate his members.

Chamisa made the statement yesterday following the violent clashes between Zanu PF youths and his supporters in Chitungwiza since Sunday as the two political parties battled to control activities at the funeral wake of slain CCC activist Moreblessing Ali (47).

CCC vice-chairperson Job Sikhala and Chitungwiza North legislator Godfrey Sithole were arrested on allegations of inciting public violence following the clashes which left a trail of destruction in the Nyatsime area, where the deceased Ali resided.

The opposition CCC, however, felt hard done by the police who arrested its members for violence, yet some Zanu PF activists, who allegedly torched houses belonging to opposition supporters in the same area, were walking scot free.

Chamisa told NewsDay that law enforcement by the police was tilted in favour of the ruling Zanu PF party, contrary to the force’s mandate.

“If people are arrested for offences, it must not be partisan,” Chamisa said.

“We all saw the Zanu PF councillor who publicly declared violence against mourners at Ali’s family homestead, but he is walking scot free. If the police had swiftly acted on this earlier incitation of public violence, we would not have been talking about what later happened. Why is it that one political party is allowed to terrorise, victimise, brutalise and assault the citizens and vandalise their properties, but nothing is done to them while this other party is persecuted? Why reduce the whole police to be an organ of one political party? Police services are for all citizens and that honour must be given to citizens.”

Chamisa also tweeted: “Abuse of the law to target political competitors is an act of cowardice. Zanu PF councillor and members threatened citizens, terrorised communities, torched homes, unleashed terror and continue to do so with impunity. Why is there no action by the law enforcers? Why is the law so one-eyed? I will say it over and over again. And let me say it again. We will WIN any free and fair election in Zimbabwe. We’re the next government. Peace is the default setting of all winners. Violence is the DNA and language of losers, not winners. Winners and leaders don’t disturb peace.”

But police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi insisted that the aggrieved opposition members should report all their complaints if they believe anyone has violated the law.

“Our position as police is clear. Anyone who engages in violence will face the full wrath of the law. If there is anyone who feels that there is a matter that needs to be investigated, they should go to the nearest police station,” said Nyathi.

One house was burnt in the Nyatsime area of Chitungwiza during the violent clashes while 20 other houses were vandalised together with 13 shops, six tuckshops and four motor vehicles, according to a statement released by police yesterday. CCC, however, claimed that another house that belonged to its member was torched by suspected Zanu PF activists during the clashes.

In a statement, Nyathi said police had intensified investigations on the matter, adding that they had launched a crackdown on individuals whose motor vehicles ferried CCC supporters to Ali’ memorial service in Nyatsime.

  • Follow Miriam on Twitter@FloMangwaya

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