By Paidashe Mandivengerei
RIGHTS lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, has written to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), demanding the arrest of ZANU PF member, Abton ‘Bhito’ Mashayanyika, who recently called for the murder of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa.
Mashayanyika made the utterances calling for the murder of the main opposition leader and his children at Zanu PF’s rally in Mberengwa North last month.
In the letter addressed to the police, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Mtetwa said none of the law enforcement agencies had taken any action against Mashayanyika despite them regularly scouring social media platforms for ‘offensive and possibly criminal material’.
In the video which has since gone viral, Mashayanyika, a Bishop of the Habbakuk Apostolic Faith Mission, blatantly urged the killing of Chamisa, his children and opposition party supporters while addressing a Zanu PF rally at Rampopo Hills, Mberengwa North.
“When we say down with Muzorewa, we mean he should be killed, when we say down with a witch, we mean they should be killed, when we say down with sellouts, we mean they should be killed and when we say down with Chamisa, we mean he should be killed.
“Down with the CCC, down with Chamisa together with his children,” he said.
While the other organisations had remained mum on the issue, ZEC previously claimed it never came across the viral video, adding the matter which involves political opponents issuing threats against each other is out of its jurisdiction.
Mtetwa said should the organisations require the video, it is readily available.
Part of the letter reads: “To the Commissioner General of Police, I request that, in line with your Constitutional mandate to detect, investigate, and prevent crime, in addition to protecting and securing the lives and property of Zimbabweans, you investigate these utterances with a view to prosecuting what is clearly a criminal offence, which has the potential of affecting the country’s internal security and the various rights that citizens are entitled to enjoy as provided for in the Constitution.
“To the Zimbabw Human Rights Commission, I bring this matter to your attention so that you can, as part of your constitutional mandate, investigate the conduct of the maker of the inciteful words with a view of directing the Commissioner General to fully investigate the matter as there can be no doubt that the call for the killing of Zimbabweans is a clear criminal act which violates Zimbabweans’ rights to freedom of association and the right to join and to participate in the activities of political parties of their choice, has no place in a country which has full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
The rights lawyer added that the NPRC and ZEC must urgently intervene, keeping in mind the ‘bloody nature’ of previous elections where opposition party supporters have been intimidated, tortured, maimed and killed.
She further called on the National Prosecuting Authority to ‘exercise its prosecuting powers independently, impartially and without fear or favour’ and do away with public perception that it only acts vigorously where opposition party members have broken the law.
Mashayanyika’s utterances came shortly after the killing of at least three CCC supporters, Mboneni Ncube in Kwekwe, Langelihle Dube in Bulawayo and Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime by suspected Zanu PF members.