THE Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (Zimcet) would like to applaud the passing of the Domestic Violence Bill and the formation of the Anti-Domestic Violence Committee which will ensure that domestic violence problems are under constant review and monitor the ap
plication and enforcement of the proposed law.
Incidents of violence at all levels have been on the increase and it is heartening to note that the government is waking up to the call to end that trend. However, more needs to be done to address the situation on a macro level especially by the law-enforcement agents. A case in point is the brutal assault of labour leaders while in detention over a demonstration which has since been described by President Mugabe as illegal.
Zimcet strongly believes that police brutality (legalised violence) cannot and should not be condoned no matter what the reasons might be or who defends it.
Although the labour leaders have been demonised for hiding behind the façade of championing the people’s cause, it should be noted that nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. There is nothing criminal in speaking out in a democratic society; people should have the right to freedom of expression without fearing recriminations from the state.
Political parties have also been found wanting on curbing violence within their ranks and structures.
One minister was dragged before the courts to answer violence charges against a fellow party cadre in Makoni District. The complainant, who is a war veteran, was attacked for challenging the minister in the Zanu PF primary elections in
The Movement for Democratic Change’s factions have also been rocked by allegations of violence against each other. The assault of Trudy Stevenson of the pro-senate faction immediately comes to mind.
As a peace-building organisation, Zimcet therefore calls on the policymakers and the citizens of Zimbabwe to step up the
campaign against violence and declare zero-tolerance against violence.
The passing of the Domestic Violence Bill is a step in the right direction and the momentum should not slacken towards eradicating all forms of violence.
* Zimcet is a political but non-partisan organisation whose core business is education for rights, peace,justice and development.