THE alleged abduction and murder of a two-year-old child by suspected Zanu PF activists following his father Rambai Lumbe’s defection to the opposition National People’s Party (NPP) where he is the Mazowe North parliamentary candidate provides an opportunity for stakeholders in the forthcoming elections to walk the talk regarding their calls for a peaceful election.
Indeed, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the police, among other stakeholders, have been calling for a free, fair and credible, violence-free elections.
But this ugly development sets a bad precedence at a time the nation was hoping that for the first time in decades, Zimbabwe will witness an election without a single person losing their life needlessly on the campaign trail.
This incident has raised fears of a repeat of the bloody 2008 presidential run-off election where over 300 opposition MDC-T supporters were killed and thousands others internally displaced by suspected State security agents and Zanu PF militia.
We believe such barbaric, uncivilised politics should be thrown into the dustbin of history as the country seeks to cut a new political culture and discourse.
Party candidates should learn to sell their ideas to voters without resorting to uncivilised means of dealing with those that don’t agree with them. In other words, there should be a place for divergent views in politics and this should not justify violence in any way.
It is regrettable that this sordid act has happened when the international community is keenly monitoring developments in Zimbabwe may blow a golden opportunity to be re-admitted into the family of nations in the post-former President Robert Mugabe era.
It is shameful that people should be killed in this day and age over politics, when almost all our immediate neighbours have been holding incident -free elections.
No doubt, political differences should not go down to this level. It is unacceptable and we urge the authorities to act swiftly and set an example to whoever may be planning to resort to violence before, during and after the forthcoming elections.
Zanu PF politicians, in particular, need to move with the winds of change and discard their old habits of intimidating, assaulting and killing opposition members and supporters.
Because the ruling party has in the past abused the power of incumbency through the misuse of State security apparatuses to subdue their opponents.
Clearly, this is not called for. The sanctity of human life must be upheld at all times and in all circumstances. We also call on the police to bring the culprits of this heinous act to book to deter like-minded individuals. There is no need to sanitise this sordid act for fear of reprisals by the family of nations, otherwise these criminals do not need any protection.
Mnangagwa must show that he is a man of action, and let the law take its course, if indeed, those who committed this act were the same activists who have been terrorising this family so they could grab his agricultural plot.