BY NEVANJI MADANHIRE
All major world religions believe in the sanctity of life.
It might be instructive to take a look at the Jewish concept of the sanctity of life to put my argument into proper context.
I borrow from extensively from: Sanctity of life — The origin and value of human life — BBC, “The term sanctity of life means the extent to which human life is considered precious.”
According to the BBC instalment cited above, “Jews believe that humans were made as part of God’s creation and in God’s image.
“Therefore, human life should be valued and considered as sacred and God-given. Due to these attitudes towards the sanctity of life, Jews believe that only God can give life, and only God should take life away.”
“The term pikuach nefesh refers to the belief stated in Jewish law that preserving human life should overrule any other religious considerations.
“For example, if a human life is in danger of ending, then all other teachings in the Torah are overridden and all other laws are put aside to ensure everything is done to try and save the human life.”
The Christian concept of the sanctity of life is similar because Christians too believe that God created people in his own image, therefore human life is sacred and is a gift from God which is to be respected and protected.
Zimbabwe’s own traditional religion also holds life as sacrosanct.
If a person causes the loss of life of another, he/she will be punished severely by the dead person’s vengeful spirit — ngozi — until retribution is made.
A painful drama is unfolding right under our watch in Zimbabwe.
It is the sorry tale of Marry Chiwenga née Mubaiwa.
Formerly the second most powerful woman in our land she is now a pale shadow of herself and life seems to be seeping slowly out of her.
All the aura of glamour and chic that used to be her trademark as a model is gone, replaced with life-threatening wounds too ghastly to look at.
She stands accused of many crimes including attempted murder, assault, fraud, and money laundering. She is currently on remand out of custody but is spending all her time under medical care.
As far as our laws go, she is innocent because she has not been proven guilty.
In these circumstances, therefore, there are things that have to be done because they are the right things to do.
It is the right thing that the sanctity of her life be respected.
It is the right thing that she has access to the best medical attention needed.
It is the right thing that she gets her passport if she needs to seek medical treatment outside the country.
It is the right thing that she is allowed to see her children whom she says she has not seen in two years.
It is the right thing that she has access to the money in her bank accounts to fund her treatment. It is the right thing that the country’s laws recognise a very sick person when one is presented in court and rule accordingly.
This is the time for chivalry rather than vindictiveness.
Chivalry is that old fashioned virtue that dictated how men behaved towards women.
Rather than showing an unreasoning desire for revenge, chivalrous behaviour must come to the fore and manifest in a desire to be compassionate and generous. Instead of vengefulness, mercy should temper the dark desire to prove a point.
As the country hurtles towards watershed elections in 2023 voters will take note of the quality of leadership they desire.