Police can’t be spectators


THE violence that characterised Zanu PF meetings in Gwanda and Marondera on Monday were the clearest sign yet that things are getting out of hand in the ruling party.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo admitted as much when he told Southern Eye that there was no longer any order or discipline in the party.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo

A faction fighting to push out Vice-President Joice Mujuru appears to be behind the stage-managed demonstrations that have been rolled out throughout the provinces.

So far five provincial chairpersons have been shown the door in the well-orchestrated plot to weaken Mujuru ahead of the Zanu PF congress in December.

President Robert Mugabe appeared to give the chaos faction the green light to cause mayhem after he addressed the initial stage-managed demonstration against Mujuru in Harare a fortnight ago.

The demonstrations in Gwanda and Marondera were particularly worrying because police seemed unable or unwilling to impose order as the protesters clearly breached peace in the towns.

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

There is no doubt that if the protesters belonged to any other party that is not Zanu PF, the demonstrations would have been brutally stopped.

A planned demonstration against Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairperson Andrew Langa failed to take place in Gwanda after his supporters, including members of his family, violently dealt with the protesters.

One of the protesters, Muridzo Muchineripi, was assaulted with an open hand, while there was some pushing and shoving between the warring groups.

Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairperson Andrew Langa
Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairperson Andrew Langa

The violence is likely to escalate as emotions rise towards the congress and police should show that they are capable of maintaining law and order.

The apparent selective application of the law only serves to erode the image of the Zimbabwe Republic Police as a non-partisan institution.

Police must deal with the Zanu PF protesters the same way they would deal with opposition activists. On the other hand, Zanu PF should call its members to order before they start spilling blood.