HomeAnalysisEditor’s Memo: About crime, politics and anarchy

Editor’s Memo: About crime, politics and anarchy

NEVANJI MADANHIRE
THE truth about the macabre murder of Moreblessing Ali will always be contested because a lot of things have happened around it that any statement from anywhere will not be believed or taken serious.

Ali’s mutilated remains were retrieved from a well at a homestead linked to the chief suspect Pius Jamba under arrest now, but that counts for nothing because of how the murder has been politicised.

Known facts are that Ali was pulled out of a bar by the suspect at night and taken into the bush never to be seen alive again. It is generally believed that Ali and Jamba were in a romantic relationship suggesting the killing was very likely a crime of passion.

The police issued a statement to that effect soon after the event and said investigations were ongoing.

But very few people, if any, in the opposition believe whatever the police say due historical events where the police haven’t come clean and have been accused of state capture.

Zimbabwe, being such a highly polarised nation, the politics always takes centre stage. On the one hand, the political opposition averred that Jamba was a well-known violent thug belonging to the ruling Zanu PF party, therefore, Ali’s demise was a political assassination.

On the other hand, the ruling party has disowned Jamba saying he was only related to one of their members and is not a member of Zanu PF.

Senior Citizen Coalition for Change leaders amplified the political murder narrative some vowing vengeance in a way that can be deemed to have incited the violence that followed.

Indeed, the violence was anarchical with people being ferried from around the city in trucks. Wielding big sticks and rocks they destroyed many shops and vehicles in their wake and burned down some houses.

The unfortunate murder was internationalised too, with Western embassies joining the bandwagon of those who pinned it on “Zanu PF thugs”.

Lord Oates, a member of the British House of Lords, escalated the issue by raising it in a statement that must have resonated with the thinking of many of his compatriots.

He agreed with the CCC leadership that Ali had been murdered for political reasons. He dismissed any attempts at re-engagement with the British government that President Mnangagwa is pursuing.

“The history of political violence, abductions and murder is sadly a long one in Zimbabwe. If @edmnangagwa wants reengagement he has to end this now.” This is the attitude Western embassies have collectively taken.

Police yesterday afternoon issued a statement, which ended with the following: “Police investigations have so far not found any political link to this sad and heinous crime.” The Western embassies and the opposition, as stated earlier, will not believe them because battle lines have already been drawn.

The events of the past 10 or so days show just how easily a country can descend into anarchy. The situation in the country is volatile, what with the elections coming along in about a year’s time.

In cases such as this, political leaders across the board have to act responsibly and where a crime has been committed they should allow the law to take its course.

True the police’s image has not been good and they have to improve on the professionalism front but they should be given a chance.

They are well known to have cracked big cases before.  Politicians in the opposition have always campaigned on the rule-of-law mantra saying this important aspect of governance has to be restored.

It becomes a contradiction in terms when they encourage the kind of anarchy witnessed recently manifested in the irresponsible use of social media and the violence that ensued.

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