Violence in Masvingo: Moral Permissibility
12 October 2021
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Dear Friends of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance,

Re: Violence in Masvingo, Zimbabwe
 
Moral Permissibility

“Moral Permissibility” is a philosophy and can fall under an academic discipline called ethics. It allows us to examine what is morally allowable. While, in academia, there are several ways to define “moral permissibility,” the broader Zimbabwean population would agree that as part of the essence of Zimbabwean culture, that our moral system and it’s ethics, differentiates between behavior that is morally prohibited. Likewise, by the laws of Zimbabwe and it’s legal institutions, there is behavior that it legislatively prohibited by law.

In Zimbabwe, government institutions with the authority to investigate and prosecute crimes are faced with a moral responsibility. If the alleged incidents of violence that took place in Masvingo, Zimbabwe today are found to have involved state actors or influenced by state actors, then the intentional infliction of any, and all, types of harm that occurred, be it rough, ruthless, or harsh, or if it, in any way caused victims to become burdened or suffer, must be considered morally impermissible.
 
Most citizens of Zimbabwe would view it as immoral to intentionally cause harm or suffering to an innocent member of our communities or of our broader Zimbabwean society. A significant, somber, and urgent moral challenge has presented itself as evidenced by the violent attacks in Masvingo. All those who were in any way involved in the planning, execution, participation—pre-attack, during the attack, and post-attack—must be subject to be held to account—investigation, prosecution, and conviction of the crimes perpetrated in the Masvingo attacks.
 
Responsibility of the General Public
We, as the public, have a responsibility to expect and hold law enforcing institutions, and those who lead in them, to account. We ought to expect nothing short of excellence from them.
 
They must protect life.
They must protect property.
They must prevent crime.
They must actively limit and reduce the fear of crime within the civilian population.
They must provide a service with an attitude of compassion, not aggression.
They ought to understand that, as agents in law enforcing institutions in the country, they must perform their duties with integrity.
Their supervisors and leaders ought to know that they serve the people.
They have a duty to protect, in particular, they must protect human life.
 
At all times, members of the public must be treated with respect. They must be treated with dignity.
 
Perpetrators must be held to account. And the Government of Zimbabwe,
its legal institutions, and ultimately it’s leadership including, to the highest level, ought to be held to account for the appropriate actions in pursuit of the perpetrators.
 
Secretary for Home Affairs
North America Province
October 11, 2021