WHEN violence flared in Chitungwiza following the gruesome murder of political activist Moreblessing Ali last week, our police were quick to swoop on the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party blaming it for the violence.
That the ruling Zanu PF party was also involved in the violence, if not the instigators of the violence in the first place by trying to control Ali’s funeral wake, did not seem to be consequential to the police.
It was so inconsequential that the police were so eager to lay the blame on the opposition CCC that they even arrested the lawyer representing the grieving family.
Ali’s family lawyer Job Sikhala and fellow Member of Parliament Godfrey Sithole were brought to court in such movie-style drama as is they hard committed a heinous crime worse than that committed by Ali’s killer Pius aka Jamba Mukandi, who appeared for his remand hearing like any other common criminal.
And on the sidelines of the intriguing events surrounding Ali’s murder, opposition CCC vice-president Tendai Biti’s campaign sojourn to Muzarabani in Mashonaland Central province was disrupted by people believed to be linked to the ruling party.
Although the Muzarabani violence might appear small and inconsequential, we would have thought that since the police are so eager, as demonstrated in the Chitungwiza case, to nip violence in the bud, they would have swiftly pounced on the alleged perpetrators of the Muzarabani attack.
But no, the police seem not to be interested at all to even entertain the issue, which raises a lot of questions: Is this not compromising the police’s reputation?
Should the police not treat any form of violence as a serious matter to maintain peace in the country?
Biti and his CCC party have fingered the ruling Zanu PF party supporters in the Muzarabani attack, but the police appear disinterested in following up the matter despite the victims of the attack providing a lead to possible suspects.
Because in the wake of Ali’s disappearance on May 24, despite the police being told that she had been abducted by a suspected Zanu PF member, the police chose to dismiss the witnesses’ claims it is hoped that they will not exhibit the same attitude in the Muzarabani incident.
If they so choose to dismiss the case as spruced up, then we are afraid this may end up compromising the police image and reputation because a pattern is now emerging that Zanu PF is an ifallable party incapable of engaging in violence, hence the police seem to ever be coming to its defence at every turn.
We also hear that CCC had its victory celebration rally in Chegutu blocked, yet Zanu PF has held such meetings without any disruptions.
A partisan police force is the last thing Zimbabwe wants, especially as the country heads for general elections next year. All citizens and political parties should be treated the same in terms of law enforcement.