Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Liberators Platform condemns violence gripping nation

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By Happyson Nenji

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform (ZLP), an organisation formed by genuine former liberation war fighters to advocate for peace, democracy and good governance has noted with deep concern the alarming rise in state sponsored violence since the beginning of the year. People have been shot dead without cause.

There have been abductions, arbitrary arrests and torture in police custody, grievous assaults, intimidation and harassment of leaders of the opposition and their general membership, labour and civil society activists perpetrated by the police and state security agents. The trend continues unabated.

As true and genuine former freedom fighters, ZLP consistently espouses the original values and ideals of the national liberation struggle that was waged for freedom, democracy, social justice and respect for human dignity.

These noble ideals, for which many sacrificed life and limb have now fallen victim to the pursuit of power, narrow partisan interests greed and an insatiable pursuit of personal wealth.

The lofty ideals have to all intents and purposes been divested of their original revolutionary and progressive content only to survive as a vestigial rhetorical and demagogic framework for window-dressing and grandstanding at national occasions and for whipping up emotions and raising the political temperature during elections.

ZLP condemns in the strongest terms all forms of violence being perpetrated against innocent, peace-loving and defenceless members of society all in the defence of personal power and self aggrandisement.

We as genuine former liberation war fighters, are deeply saddened by this state sponsored terror committed on the pretext of advancing and protecting the interests of the national liberation struggle.

The law no longer stands respected with court orders being flagrantly ignored thereby compromising and undermining the role and function of the judiciary, an important pillar of any democratic system.

Impunity now generally reigns for patronage purposes for the ruling elite despite public admission of plundering of national resources on a grand scale.

All these wanton actions in clear betrayal of the ideals of the liberation struggle are eloquent testimony to the hijacking of the liberation struggle by self-seeking nationalists. Zimbabwe's greatest tragedy is the continuation of an erstwhile nationalist leadership devoid of any interest to deliver the gains of liberation to the people.

Evidently, today the liberation struggle and its virtues has characteristically been privatised and commercialised to serve the ruling elite.

The national liberation effort and its outcome have tragically been hijacked and transformed into a personal project to serve individual interests. This is a gross insult to the memory and contribution of Zimbabwe's living and fallen heroes.

The Zimbabwe Liberators Platform and all self-respecting former freedom fighters wish to distance themselves from the ongoing violence and the attendant betrayal of everything we fought for.

We call for the nation to refocus on the original values, aims, objectives, and ideals of the national liberation struggle. We implore all Zimbabweans and genuine former freedom fighters to remain steadfast in the face of this naked provocation and repression.

The day of reckoning is surely visible on the horizon.

We urge the government of Zimbabwe and the ruling party to respect the dignity of all the country's citizens; to desist from arbitrary arrests, abductions, torture and harassment of the country's citizens; to be tolerant of dissension and divergent views and to respect the views and opinions of its suffering citizens.

That is the hallmark of political maturity and genuine democracy. The government and the ruling party can only ignore this call at their own peril as historically, the triumph of the wishes of the people is inevitable.

Finally, ZLP would like to express its solemn solidarity with all parties to the ongoing initiative to resolve the national crisis. We extend our sincere heartfelt sympathy to all the victims of wanton state terrorism.

Happyson Nenji Chairman - ZLP TRUST - For and on behalf of the Zimbabwe liberators Platform