THE violence rocking the MDC-T over its leadership renewal has been met with choruses of disapproval from Australia, United States, Canada and lately the European Union (EU).
The EU Delegation is the latest to issue a statement expressing deep concern “about any violence against members of political parties.”
It all started with the brutal attack of MDC-T treasurer general Elton Mangoma in front of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai at Harvest House last month. MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti reportedly escaped a similar fate when he jumped into Tsvangirai’s car.
However, few days later Biti’s Harare home was petrol bombed by unknown assailants and the nation has been waiting with baited breath to hear from the police as to who could be behind this heinous act.
As expected in a polarised environment, finger pointing ensued after the incident with MDC-T accusing Zanu PF of being behind the cowardly attack. Not to be outdone, Zanu PF blamed the attack on MDC-T warring factions. Sadly, although highly anticipated police seem to have to taken the Zanu PF line of thinking after chief Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba issued a patently partisan statement on Tuesday.
She claimed the MDC-T had a culture of violence, insinuating that the police knew who the perpetrators of the violent incidents were before the courts even ruled in any of the cases.
“This unruly behaviour by the MDC-T confirms the culture of violence entrenched within its party’s structures and leadership,” Charamba said.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will not tolerate such behaviour by the MDC-T supporters and hence no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that perpetrators of violence are arrested and brought to justice.”
As far as we know the arsonists who attacked Biti’s home have not been accounted for yet police already appear to be passing judgment on these cases. The statements reflect that the police have taken a position that the MDC-T is violent and there would therefore be prejudiced when dealing with cases to do with violence that involve the party.
Charamba just let the cat out of the bag and this is very worrying as the introduction of a new Constitution last year had brought so much hope that the police would reform.