Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has pleaded with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to speak out against political violence following recent attacks on opposition party-CCC supporters at a rally in Kwekwe this past weekend.
Mnangagwa’s Zanu Pf party has already been implicated to the matter after the Zimbabwe Republic Police issued a memo suggesting several ZANU PF card-carrying members were among 16 people arrested on Sunday in connection with the attacks.
To date, there has not been an official response by the Zanu pf party relating to these accusations.
Mliswa made the call through a long thread on twitter calling on the country’s leadership to stand up and speak against politically motivated violence.
“Our leaders must be ashamed of themselves over the repeated acts of violence in this country. It has gone on for too long. From Gukurahundi, Tsvangirai, opposition members, War Veterans, civil servants, many human rights abuses etc., we can’t have a democracy like that.
“We should revisit the word Liberation. Leaders should revisit why they went to the liberation struggle. What are we about? What sort of people are we killing each other over politics. Is there any national goal to this or it’s now about the selfish ambitions of a few?
“Our leaders should stand up and speak out against violence. A statement should be made. A young man, Mboneni Ncube, is now dead just because of a different political orientation. When he is buried we need to wear black and make a statement. This is evil,” Mliswa posted
The outspoken legislator called on President Mnangagwa to deal with the issue and send a decisive message to perpetrators.
“There are certain things which @edmnangagwa needs to speak out on sababa (as leader) and give his word to stop violence. The political violence, the civil servant issues etc. The 1st Republic used to do that even if it was to blame. The President needs to come in and I know he is a kind leader. I appeal to him to come in and deal with this. Kwekwe has become infamous for violence and machete gangs. We need definitive action that sends a message to the perpetrators. Some of these artisanal miners have destroyed the mining sector, destabilised politics and don’t even vote!
“When I was campaigning there it was difficult to have meetings because of the violence on the people of Hurungwe West. We need to deal with the issue of violence and stop inviting the negative attention of the world on ourselves. We should have enquiries on this. We said we have opened up for by-elections and campaigns and yet there is violence and stopping others from their activities. So why have the by-elections? Why forment such a deadly political environment when we are seeing re-engagement? This needs to stop,” Mliswa said.
Zimbabweans head into the March 26 by-elections amid rising tensions on the political landscape with analysts raising fears that violence could escalate going into 2023 general election if authorities continue to turn a blind eye.