THE petrol bombing of MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti’s Harare home on Tuesday morning was yet another demonstration that Zimbabwe’s politics is yet to come of age.
According to the MDC-T, the attack occurred in the early hours, but no one who was at the Umwinsdale suburb house was injured. It was the second attack on Biti’s house after another incident sometime in 2001. Fingers are already being pointed at suspected culprits with MDC-T issuing a statement blaming the cowardly attack on Zanu PF.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora believes Zanu PF wants to use the excuse of the bomb attack to clamp down on the party’s activities. He bases his argument on the past where mysterious petrol bombings and even politically-motivated murder were blamed on MDC-T activists only for the cases to crumble in court due to lack of evidence.
Such examples include the murder of war veterans’ leader Cain Nkala that was blamed on MDC activists only for the courts to clear them.
The killing was followed by a spate of bombings at police stations that was blamed on MDC-T activists, but no one was ever pinned to the crime. MDC-T strongly believes Zanu PF is trying to take advantage of the infighting in former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party to foment chaos while making it appear as if it’s an internal problem.
The theory is plausible given the history of our politics where the ruling party has used all manner of tactics to retain State power.
However, MDC-T has on numerous occasions demonstrated that it could match Zanu PF pound for pound in violence when the need arises.
The 2005 MDC split was bloody and an investigation launched after the disturbances blamed the violence on people very close to Tsvangirai. MDC-T’s last congress held in Bulawayo was also marred by violence.
The latest incident was the harassment of Biti and MDC-T deputy treasurer Elton Mangoma after they were accused of pushing for Tsvangirai’s ouster.The party has not demonstrated that it abhors violence by decisively dealing with perpetrators.
Therefore, investigations into the bombing at Biti’s house have to be carried out very professionally and not be clouded by partisan politics.
Only a nonpartisan police force and a professional judicial system can help Zimbabwe rid itself of the cancer of political violence.