By Anesu Pedzisayi
It does not come as a surprise that the oral evidence being presented to the Commission of Inquiry into the 1 August violence is revealing that MDC Alliance had a great influence to the unfolding events of the ill-fated day. The violence from that day continue to be regrettable, as innocent lives were lost. Accordingly, those responsible for the violence should be held accountable as lawlessness should not be condoned.
As Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, rightfully concluded whilst testifying before the Commission, the death of six civilians and damage to property could have been avoided if MDC Alliance had not decide to take the law into their own hands. Instead of waiting for ZEC to announce election results, the Alliance leadership jumped the gun and made unofficial pronouncements of the results, which pre-marked the beginning of the violence.
It is also unfortunate that MDC Alliance leadership took it upon themselves to spur the youths and get them into the streets, where the violent demonstrations took place, yet those leaders where nowhere in sight to make sure the youths abided by the laws and participated in peaceful demonstrations.
The MDC Alliance leadership has realised that they are being exposed for influencing the youths into misdemeanour, and are making frantic efforts to distance and abandon the youth wing which has been operating under the Vanguard banner. Synonymously, the Vanguard and has been at the forefront of being active in violent activities, especially in defence of opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.
Quick incidents that easily come to mind where the Vanguard has been implicated in indecorous behaviour, include the time when they almost torched Ms Thokozani Khupe and Obert Gutu in a hut in Buhera, simply because they were daring to question Chamisa’s dictatorial tendencies. The Vanguard, in protecting Chamisa’s interests, had the intention to eliminate any opposing elements that stood in Chamisa’s undemocratic path to power.
Before that, MDC officials including Khupe, Elton Mangoma, Gabriel Chaibva and Trudy Stevenson amongst others, fell victim to MDC Youths who beat them up for one reason or the other, to protect their bloodthirsty leadership. At one point, MDC Youth leader, Happymore Chidziva made provocative statements and vowed that they would make the country ungovernable if Chamisa was not elected President. The Youth leadership also vowed to do anything within their means, under the guise of defending their vote. As a result, lives were lost and property was destroyed.
To this effect, MDC founding member, Mr Chaibva confessed and chronicled that MDC has always been a violent party since time immemorial. The MDC has always deliberately disregarded the laws of the land, particularly holding peaceful and non-violent demonstrations, as actions of their members have always turned out to be destructive.
The MDC youths are known for easily engaging in fights with those who differ with their political ideology. At any given time, one cannot put on regalia belonging to any other political party and pass through the MDC offices at Harvest House, without being victimised by the rowdy youths that are always milling around the Party’s premises.
More disturbingly, the MDC leadership choose to bury their heads in the sand and give these youths a free pass to engage in regressive actions that are only bent on destroying the nation. What they choose to ignore is that it is easy to destroy but extremely difficult to build and the damage done through violence would take time to recover from.
Violence of any kind, by any party, should be condemned in the strongest of terms and those responsible should be brought to book and be held accountable. MDC leadership should also be responsible for the actions of its supporters and desist from propagating provocative statements that only serve to insist their youths to cause anarchy. To that end rebuilding efforts will take more time to be fulfilled if there is lawlessness and disunity in the country. At the end of it all, the MDC should remember that Zimbabwe is also their home and it is their responsibility to safeguard it and live within the dictates of the law that govern them.