At 86 years of age President Robert Mugabe is surely old enough to understand that urging his followers to strike back at opponents as he did at the Zanu (PF) conference last week is to virtually incite political violence.
It is to encourage excitable young party followers and others to now go out in search for their political opponents to exact revenge for whatever transgressions – real or imagined- they feel were committed against them.
Addressing the conference, Mugabe urged Zanu (PF) supporters to not only refuse to turn the other cheek but to raise the fist and strike back.
In a country where political tensions are rising by the day as another bruising election beckons next year such talk from Mugabe is virtually an order to maim and kill to the youth militia, war veterans and other Zanu (PF) zealots clothed in army and police uniform.
Zimbabwe has suffered too much violence that one would have expected the country’s leaders and senior citizens – even those boasting of degrees in violence as Mugabe does – to be at the forefront of calling for peace, reconciliation and counseling tolerance to their young charges.
When the grandfathers are the ones found urging the hot blooded youths to go and rape, maim, torture and kill, then it’s no longer politics. It is a deplorable sign of how far we have fallen as a people.
The only solace, however, from Mugabe’s regrettable statement is that at least it makes the work of the prosecutors much easier when the day of reckoning comes as surely it shall in the fullness of time.
The record will be there for all to see who ordered the murderous mobs to spill blood across the land and who were with him when he issued the orders.