EDITORIAL COMMENT: Life lessons for like-minded

Tendai Biti

Tendai Biti

IF ever there are any people who still believe that they can break the law and get away with it they should have learnt some life lessons last week.

MDC Alliance principal Mr Tendai Biti grabbed headlines in and outside Zimbabwe after skipping the country only to find himself and his team between a rock and a hard place while trying to enter neighbouring Zambia.

Mr Biti had managed to escape arrest and solicited for political asylum in Zambia, but to no avail after the Zambian Government rightfully said the political situation in the country did not pose a danger to his life or anybody for that matter.

Mr Biti was being sought by the police over a number of allegations, including inciting violence that rocked Harare after voting in the harmonised elections and his illegal declaration of MDC Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa as the winner. Only the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is mandated by law to declare the winner of an election.

Mr Biti tried to evade the police by heading to Zambia, but was taken in by the Zambian authorities while trying to cross into that country at Chirundu Border Post. Zambia’s Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji told our sister paper The Herald that Mr Biti had come to that country to seek asylum, but his grounds were not meritorious.

He said Zimbabwe’s political situation was stable and there was no reason for Mr Biti to try to seek refuge in that country citing political instability.

Minister Malanji said if Mr Biti was facing any charges in Zimbabwe, he had to attend to them in a legitimate court of law.

He was then handed over to the Zimbabwean authorities last Thursday.

He appeared in court in Harare and was released on bail.

Nonetheless, what became clear thereafter is that people can not commit offences and seek to hide behind political innuendos and Mr Biti, as a seasoned lawyer, should have known better.

The region and the world has since congratulated Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections and anyone who feels aggrieved should seek solace in a court of law, and not to resort to inciting violence, violent behaviour, and breaking the law through unsanctioned utterances.

Some of the people arrested over the violence that took place soon after the elections in Harare have since appeared in court and are out on bail.

The violent protest claimed six lives, while several others were injured when MDC Alliance supporters went on a rampage destroying property.

They also burnt vehicles, stoned shops, blocked roads and attacked people going about their business in Harare’s central business district.

After the violence, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the MDC Alliance should be held accountable for the violence.

He said the party leadership should be held responsible for the loss of lives and destruction of property that could have happened.