via Don’t let political violence spiral out of control – DailyNews Live 10 November 2015
HARARE – The resurgence of political violence, especially in Harare, is very worrying.
Only on Sunday, Harare South was turned into a battle zone as members of rival political parties — notably the MDC and Zanu PF — fought running battles, resulting in the arrest of twenty opposition party supporters.
This marks the re-opening of a very sad chapter in our political history and is a quick reminder of the pre-inclusive government period.
Then, political violence was the order of the day. Perhaps the most violent period was during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election run-off, an election which MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of, citing the deaths of over 200 of his supporters.
Nobody has forgotten the notorious bases where people would get assaulted, ostensibly on the grounds that they supported the MDC.
Nobody has also forgotten the infamous Chipangano, a Zanu PF-aligned outfit that terrorised Mbare and other Harare suburbs.
We hope these recent skirmishes in Harare South will not become signals of an impending reversal to those dark days of Zimbabwe’s political history.
We all thought the inclusive government had tried to cool down tempers so that people would be able to live harmoniously irrespective of the differences that may lie in their political opinions.
Tolerating different political opinion is one hallmark of democratic dispensations. Once we start jumping onto each others’ throats simply because they hold an opinion different from ours, there is a big problem.
Zimbabweans must be able to embrace their diversity and draw from the wealth it generates.
Once we embrace diversity, we then will not find difficulties in accepting each other.
One way of avoiding these skirmishes is probably allowing access to the electorate. Why should one political entity be allowed unhindered access to sell its political ideas to the electorate when others are being denied the same?
This is a sign of political immaturity and should never be allowed to take root in modern societies, especially those that would want to tag themselves as democracies.
As we speak, Harare South has been turned into a war zone. The tragedy of the whole circus is that this is an area that is home to the not-so-well-heeled in our society.
As we hobble towards the 2018 elections, the situation could even turn uglier and we hope the authorities would want to nip this cancer of violence in the bud.
Once it is allowed to blossom, it may easily spiral out of control and spread into other areas.