The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) condemns the violence and hate speech that characterised the burial of former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and MDC-T founding President Morgan Tsvangirai.
At a time when Zimbabwe is supposed to mourn the death of the peoples’ hero, and preaching the values of peace, tolerance and non-violence, the scenes from Humanikwa village are disturbing for all who embrace the values preached by Morgan Tsvangirai.
It is sad, and indeed tragic that the party founded on the ideals of inclusivity, democracy and accountability has degenerated into the ugly face of hate and violence. Following the death of Morgan Tsvangirai on 14 February 2018, the Forum has recorded an increase in hate speech and intolerance in the party from leadership to the support base. This led to open violence on 20 February 2018 as party activists chased away party leaders from the funeral and in the end threatened to burn the house in which they were hiding.
The Forum takes note of the attempts by the MDC-T leadership to condemn the violence.
The Forum has been working with victims of violence and torture for the past two decades. Of all political parties, the MDC-T ought to understand and appreciate the ugliness of violence. Violence in the MDC-T is not a new phenomenon. History records that failure to deal adequately with past violence breeds more violence. Beyond bold statements, MDC-T must take steps to ensure that those responsible for the violence are brought to book and must face justice. This process must be documented and outcomes shared publicly. There is a lot of evidence on who are the persons responsible for the violence. The Forum through its membership and technical capacity is committed to offering any assistance necessary to ensure justice and accountability for all affected.