Thou shall not kill. That is a clear commandment given to mankind. The Bible, the Koran, the Torah, traditional religion, and any other religion will support this commandment clearly demonstrating the sacredness of human life. This means that nobody should have the right to take life because it is sacred. Tragically, our political environment in Zimbabwe has not reflected this value for life.
Since 2000, politically motivated violence has become part of our culture. Society has become polarized as violence is used as a means to an end: the end being the continued stay of certain individuals in power. Many people have been beaten to death, and, sadly, some of the people who issued out the instructions to attack still live within our communities. Violence in the communities has left our education system in a state of paralysis as teachers have fled for dear life. The creation of militia bases in schools was a reminder of the war of liberation with the only difference this time being that it was war against ourselves-black Zimbabwean leaders against black Zimbabwean civilians.
Women and men have been raped for political reasons. Oh yes, men too were raped, or would you rather have me say, “sodomised” to ‘punish’ them for playing a role in the political misfortunes of certain political parties. The scars remain fresh in their minds and on their bodies.
Imagine your wife and children getting raped whilst you watch because you are suspected to be an opposition activist?
Imagine watching a man sodomised or forced to have sex in full view of so-called ‘war veterans’ or youth militias?
Imagine a teacher being brutalised because they command respect within communities where a political party fails to secure a seat?
Imagine the traditional leaders being involved in repressing people within their jurisdiction and reporting to political party structures? These traditional leaders are now demanding guns, apparently because they need “protection”. One can’t help but wonder the motive behind that request. Why do they need protection? And who do they need protection from? Do they fear revenge, or is the motive more sinister? Why do they fear the communities that they were empowered to serve?
Perhaps the people in positions of authority should really ask themselves some hard questions about the lives of the members of their communities? Do they really serve the communities or merely some are more worthy of protection than others?