President Robert Mugabe has been urged to show commitment to his call for political tolerance in Zimbabwe by implementing the reforms pertaining to the promotion of peace and harmony.
MDC Bulawayo provincial chairperson Edwin Ndlovu dismissed Mugabe’s call for peace which he made at higher and tertiary education minister Stan Mudenge’s funeral at the Heroes Acre on Monday saying it is mere political grandstanding.
“We want action not words, we are tired of his empty promises but on the ground his people are killing and beating up people,” Ndlovu said.
Ndlovu accused the security forces, that is the army, the police and the intelligence of terrorising those who are opposed to ZANU PF saying they need to be reformed first before President Mugabe stands out in front of mourners at state funerals to condemn violence.
“Three weeks ago, our supporters in Mutoko were beaten up by soldiers who were putting on army regalia accusing them of campaigning for a Ndebele leader who is Professor Welshman Ncube,” he said.
Political commentator and chief executive officer of Habbakuk Trust Dumisani Nkomo told Radio Dialogue that ZANU PF is not likely to engage in blatant violence in the upcoming elections. The influence of the regional body SADC which is the guarantor of the current coalition government is expected to soften up ZANU PF’s closure of political space.
“We are likely to see a shift to structural violence this time,” he said, “Structural violence which is embedded in the laws of the land, its embedded in the securocracy of the land, the police, the army and the intelligence.”
Nkomo said it is important for the president to denounce violence but it is more crucial for him to turn the rhetoric into practice. He said the indicators of practice should be the incarceration of leaders of terror groups like Chipangano and the non-partisanship of the state security.
“I’m aware that Didymus Mutasa (ZANU PF politburo secretary for administration) blasted Chipangano but we need to see them behind bars,” Nkomo said.
Bulawayo based human rights activist Mmeli Dube also dismissed the argument that Chipangano is now a rogue group which is no longer being controlled by ZANU PF. He said the group together with another one dubbed Al-Shabaab are acting on instruction of the party.
Dube also concurred with Ndlovu saying ZANU PF has a tendency of “talking right and acting left.” He said President Mugabe’s call comes at a time when his party is setting bases across the country when he just launched an extravagant defence college.
Edwin Ndlovu speaks to Radio Dialogue[podcast]http://www.radiodialogue.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Edwin-Ndlovu.mp3[/podcast]