Ranga Mataire-Writing Black
Now that the facts of the callous murder of Moreblessing Ali are known, what is to be said about those that sought political capital from her death? More importantly, what is it we must expect from authorities to ensure such macabre opportunism is stamped out for good?
In the aftermath of her death, some opposition officials led a rampage deliberately meant to heighten tensions ahead of elections next year. It was deliberate because some among us thrive on chaos.
As we watched homes of innocent people being razed to the ground, we should ask if it should be business as usual for those in charge of our security.
Now that testimony in court has told us that there was no political motive, we now know that there is a group of political outlaws who will jump onto any tragedy to foment chaos for cheap political gains. We must ask; what rules should apply to them?
First, there must be a reminder to this group. President Mnangagwa has consistently warned that the “Open for Business” rallying call did not mean that the country is open for abuse.
Addressing a Presidential Graduation ceremony at Morris Depot on the first anniversary of Operation Restore Legacy that ushered in a New Dispensation, the President implored people to entrench Constitutionalism and promote democratic tenets.
Realising that some among us were getting it all mixed up in thinking that the Open for Business policy meant open for abuse, President Mnangagwa said: “The advent of the new dispensation and the Second Republic saw the expansion of democratic space in our country enshrined in our Constitution.
“This culminated in the holding of peaceful, free, fair and credible harmonised elections. However, it is regrettable that some retrogressive, unpatriotic and selfish individuals are bent on abusing the democracy we enjoy.”
Fast forward to June 15, 2022, we have a group of CCC activists clearly behaving like outlaws going on a rampage of looting and destroying people’s properties in Nyatsime, claiming Ali as one of their own.
Every Zimbabwean sympathised with the Ali family following her death in horrendous circumstances. But it appears that the CCC activists celebrated her death as an opportunity to foment anarchy.
This is a group that does not excite anyone with policies. Its only voter mobilisation tool is despondency and crisis.
There is no justification whatsoever for anyone to act as the jury, the prosecutor and the judge in a matter being investigated by the police.
Claiming that the murder was politically motivated is the height of desperation on the part of the CCC, who have now taken to claiming every funeral wake.
Any objective observer would surely come to the same conclusion: devoid of any ideological direction or any policy alternatives, the CCC activists think the only way to attract the attention of their handlers is unrest.
Indeed, their handlers were quick to heed the signal. One Lord Oates of England reacted by posting tweets accusing the Government of being behind Ali’s death.
The last election saw all parties campaigning freely across the country. In his weekly article in the Sunday Mail, President Mnangagwa said this would continue.
What should, however, not continue is the actions of those that would take advantage of this to breed violence and test the limits of that tolerance.
Outside of pushing for unrest, this opposition party has shown it has no ideological grounding.
The evidence is in the fact that CCC has decided to put praise for Ian Smith at the centre of its message. This, obviously, has made things easier for ZANU PF.
It is free propaganda delivered to the revolutionary party’s lap, free of charge.
ZANU PF must celebrate and welcome such own goals. In politics, it is said one must never disrupt the opponent when they are making mistakes.
However, while accepting this gift, ZANU PF and indeed the State must take this lack of ideology as a serious threat. This is because a party that has showed that it is so bereft of messaging to key constituents, is a danger to the country in a number of ways.
Where a party has no ideology, it can only thrive on creating chaos. In simple terms, empty people are a danger to the country, and to themselves.
We must all be concerned when a certain section of the populace thinks that its political fortunes are best tied to the resurrection of Smith’s ghost. Whatever challenges the country may face, it is unthinkable for any citizen to pine for a bygone horrendous colonial existence where blacks were second class citizens in their own country.
It is a sign of a group that is ready to take Constitutionalism and democracy for granted. In the words of President Mnangagwa, “these rights were paid for by the sacred blood of our fellow brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers and many comrades, many of whom never lived to see a free Zimbabwe.”
A group that deliberately seeks to belittle the country’s struggle for independence, whatever its grievances, is capable of anything. It can accept dirty money to torment its own kith and kin. It can take instructions from anywhere.
As we head towards the 2023 harmonised elections, we need to entrench democracy and constitutionalism, but never abuse it.
The Second Republic is not open for abuse. Political contestations must never degenerate into violence.