Sibanda deserves justice


ZIMBABWE has a history of political violence that dates back to the Gukurahundi massacres in the Midlands and Matabeleland, with victims still unable to access justice despite a new constitutional dispensation.

The new Constitution adopted last year amid pomp and fun fare was hailed across the political divide as providing the best Bill of Rights.

It provided for the creation of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and an organ on national healing that many believed would deal with the countless cases of politically motivated rights violations.

However, nothing much has happened almost two years after Zimbabwe got a new Constitution and this can be attributed to the fact that the majority of the perpetrators are still in power.

Lifas-Sibanda-assaulted-by-Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert-Mpofu's-aides
Lifas-Sibanda-assaulted-by-Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert-Mpofu’s-aides

The powerlessness of most victims of political violence is typified by the story of Lifas Sibanda (45), which we published yesterday.

Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu

Sibanda, a former security guard claims he was employed by Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu in Victoria Falls.

He alleges that he was assaulted by the minister’s aides for attending a Zapu rally in Victoria Falls ahead of last year’s elections.

The barbaric attack reportedly occurred at the minister’s house and Sibanda, who is now disabled as a result of the attack, was able to identify his attackers.

He claims he tried to make a police report, but was turned away by the cops who said his case was too sensitive.

There are many Zimbabweans that find themselves in Sibanda’s shoes.

Perpetrators of political violence still remain untouchable and one Wilson Kufa Chitoro, popularly known as Biggie Chitoro, was even accorded a provincial hero status following his death early this year.

Chitoro was infamous for setting up torture bases in Mberengwa where some MDC activists lost their lives.

The partisan approach to law enforcement by the Zimbabwe Republic Police has left victims of political violence such as Sibanda without any hope for justice. Such a scenario does bode well for peace in future.

Police owe it to Zimbabwe to bring to book the people who tortured Sibanda, regardless of their political connections, without any further delay.