Nowhere in the world are rights unlimited, even in the so-called citadels of democracy in the First World. Freedom of expression in all its forms is not cast in stone. It is not an open cheque, as mistakenly construed by the MDC-Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa.
The dawn of a new era in Zimbabwe characterised by the opening up of the democratic space by President Mnangagwa’s administration is no licence to make unreasonable demands and threats to throw Zimbabwe into chaos.
We noted with disdain a call on Sunday by Mr Chamisa and the MDC-Alliance youth assembly leader Mr Happymore Chidziva for post-election violence if the opposition leader is not declared winner of the elections to be held on Monday next week.
Mr Chamisa told his supporters at Mkoba Stadium that he had already won the election, and that anything short of him being declared the winner was a call to violence.
“Hakudyiwi rinopisa muno . . . mukaita zvokutamba ndinodira jecha muupfu, hamuridyi sadza iroro (there won’t be peace in this country, I will spoil the party),” threatened Mr Chamisa. His call to post-poll violence was reinforced by Mr Chidziva, who threatened President Mnangagwa, saying “tomukwekweredza”.
Mr Chidziva insinuated war if Mr Chamisa was not declared winner, claiming Zanu-PF had already rigged the ballot.
He shouted “moto uyo, moto uyo” right in front of Mr Chamisa.
This is clear testimony that the alliance is in serious panic mode after realising they have no chance to win the election come Monday. It is already on Plan B, whose illegality it knows pretty well.
We note that President Mnangagwa, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Acting Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi yesterday duly warned Mr Chamisa against fuelling violence in the country.
Any such acts will not be tolerated considering the amount of effort by the new administration to open the democratic space which has allowed people like Chamisa to make reckless statements that risk inciting people to violence.
Never in the history of Zimbabwe has the pre-election environment been this peaceful.
It is sad that Mr Chamisa is projecting himself as a merchant and godfather of violence.
The warning by President Mnangagwa to anarchists yesterday in Mhondoro was therefore long overdue. The MDC-Alliance must not mistake Government’s tolerance to its student activist politics for weakness.
All rights are enjoyed within certain parameters of the law and any violation is constitutionally punishable.
“We now have a certain party that says it wants to shut down Harare and to shut down the country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“God forbid! We have asked ourselves what this small party intends to do and how it intends to do it and on what grounds. Kana wangova mukaka wawadya, ingodya mukaka wako ugute zvakanaka.”
Equally, Mr Hodzi yesterday said the prosecution authority would not grant bail to perpetrators of political violence — another clear warning to Mr Chamisa and his MDC-Alliance. Recently, the ZRP warned that those who engage in acts of political violence risk missing the elections after being locked away.
Yesterday, the ZRP banned a demonstration by the MDC-Alliance today in a clear statement that their childish games are no longer funny. It is about time.
We cannot have a situation where Government is building the country brick by brick while preaching peace and national unity and the opposition, personified by Mr Chamisa, is undermining all the efforts in pursuit of personal ambition. Zimbabwe is bigger than any individual.
Chamisa should therefore separate his petty party project from Zimbabwe the nation.
We have reached a point where we feel Government must revoke certain freedoms if those meant to enjoy them choose to wilfully abuse them.
We reiterate that peace is too precious a gift to be vandalised willy-nilly and we urge Mr Chamisa and the MDC-Alliance
introspect before it is too late.
They have over-stretched their luck.