The Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation has a daunting task ahead of it !!!!!!!!
The recent increase in political violence in the country bears testimony to the unpreparedness of the county to witness yet another election. Reports of political violence in Mbare and various rural areas leaves a lot to be desired as it is a slap in the face of the Inclusive Government’s efforts to stabilize the country. Villagers are being forced to surrender their political party allegiances in Buhera, Zaka, Mwenezi, Muzarabani, Murehwa, Binga and other areas by allegedly war veterans and youth militias. The well documented violence in Mbare is just a microcosm of the macrocosm as a lot of violence and intimidation is going on in communities without being reported and brought to the fore. Mbare specifically, is slowly degenerating into a hub of violence and this will not do this country any good if such violence is left unchecked as it has the capacity to degenerate into unprecedented violence.
Violent clashes have been witnessed between MDC and ZANU P.F supporters in Mbare in the last few months. People have been forcibly removed from their market stalls in Mbare and nothing has been done to deal with such total disregard of the rule of law. It is alleged that offices of the M.D.C have been destroyed and a local councilor’s house has been destroyed and a plethora of people that have been displaced but no concrete action has been done to stop this madness especially on the part of the police. However it should be noted that statements linking the M.D.C leadership that they will retaliate if any violence is meted on them will not help save the situation as it will only create a cycle of violence in the country.
The police force are not helping matters as they have already taken sides in the violence by taking the blame on only one political party .The arrest of only members of one party is equally unacceptable as the clashes are involving both MDC and ZANU Pf supporters .The police force needs to be reminded of their constitutional mandate of protecting citizens and ensuring there is peace and tranquility in the country without fear or favor. It is quite disheartening to note and realize that in all these cases of violence and intimidation, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) has not done anything despite its clear mandate to deal with such cases.
The silence of the Organ on National Healing has become a cause for concern and people wonder if they have ever been sincere to live up to the dictates of the of the G.P.A, Article 7 which speaks to their existence and mandate. As long as the Organ on national Healing cannot make meaningful inroads in communities torn apart by polarisation for so long a time then the call or talk for new elections which is transparent and fair will remain a pipe dream.
We call upon the G.P.A principals to come to their sober senses and have people’s lives at heart by postponing an election until a conducive environment is created .A conducive environment where people will not lose their lives simply because they carry a different political view from others. The G.P.A Principals need to be reminded that the spirit of the Government of National Unity should supersede the letter of the G.N.U.
It is Heal Zimbabwe’s contention that as long as the issue of political violence is not properly addressed and communities have not yet been de-militarized then it will be a sheer waste of fiscus resources to undergo an election whose outcome will definitely be questioned due to the unlevel playing field. The Principals to the Global Political Agreement should be concentrating on reforming key strategic institutions that will ensure there are fair and free elections which are not contested but taken as a true reflection of people’s wishes.