By Dr Masimba Mavaza-After the death of Moreblessing Ali, CCC saw a chance to incite orgies of violence. In their endeavour to do so, they have committed crimes. Inciting violence against people was already illegal; what is now also unlawful is to incite others to hate people on the basis of their political beliefs or their lack of religious beliefs. CCC has taken the mere criminal case and made it a political issue. Despite the Police taking charge of the investigations, CCC at their highest level became masters of inciting and Job Sikhala literally led scores of the CCC youths to destroy property, maim and injure thousands of people.
It is not in doubt that the CCC has taken the government’s silence as a sign of weakness.
Job and his thugs tried the whole week to stir up usually harmful or violent action or feeling. They incited panic and pandemonium followed.
What constitutes “incitement” under the law When is speech so violent and dangerous that it can be prohibited by the government? What Job Sikhala and his CCC did was criminal and what the encouraged was seen through the violence which followed.
We all know the Constitution of Zimbabwe protects almost all speech. But CCC’s speeches crossed the line into something that’s unprotected, like incitement to violence which Job and HOPEWELL MBUDZI CHIN’ONO were doing throughout the week.
The Zimbabwean Constitution by default, protects almost every bit of speech that we can engage in, but there are a few areas where speech crosses the line into something that’s considered violent or criminal. One of those areas is incitement. “Incitement to violence” is a term that refers to speech that creates an immediate risk of harm to another person. It’s kind of like a threat, except it’s done through another person. Which is to say, rather than threaten you directly with harm, I suggest to another person, “Why don’t you hurt her?” Job Sikhala, who cried revenge, did not burn the property of the ZANU PF chairman, but his words did. Under the Constitution, it’s an extremely high bar before speech can be criminalized as incitement. But unless and until there is an immediate and severe risk to a specifically identifiable person, that speech can’t be made criminal, consistent with our Constitution. In this case, we have an Orvieto of violence which followed and Job had told the CCC to see that there is revenge and that the families of the perpetrators be wiped out of the face of the earth.
We must recognizes, rightfully, that political speech often involves really passionate, sometimes violent rhetoric. And unless and until it creates a specific and immediate roadmap to violence against others, it cannot be criminalized consistent with our free speech. But in this case, Job’s comments were followed by the Orvieto of violence and threat to life.
While we understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in non-serious ways, we must be able to see the language that incites or facilitates serious violence. The Police believed that there was a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety, and rightly so. The Police also considered the language and context in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety.
This week the ZRP issued a statement pertaining to their investigation of the murder of MB and in their statement outlined their initial findings. They stressed that the police investigations were still in progress. That statement reassured the majority of our law-abiding citizens and, indeed bona fide politicians with a serious and constructive political agenda.
The police statement did nothing and would have done nothing to those who are decidedly impervious and incorrigible of violent persuasion in the rank and file of the ccc and at the helm of that grouping.
The continued outlandish criticism of the Police combined with the nakedly baseless imputation of the murder of BLessmore Ali on Zanu PF is a nasty ploy that is now threatening law and order.
No serious party in the world would, as CCC is doing, use concoctions, innuendos, smears, defamation and outright lies as its arsenal for political campaign. The path to power cannot be hewn by the crime, so destroying your political rival and our constitutional force in the process.
Job Sikhala is a trained lawyer, but in this case, CCC need to be trained lawyers to understand their civic duty to respect the national police force, law and order. Therefore the arrest of Job Sikhala shows that the Police mean business.
Frankly, Job and CCC have deliberately lit a flame of violence that is calculated to take them to the national elections next year. This deplorable and despicable tact is at the behest of their international handlers. It is manipulative, purposeful and planned to provoke police reaction. The ferocious smear of Zanu PF with fictitious allegations presents that party as a monster whose government needs regime-changing. That is the sum of the whole ploy. Therefore the events unfolding at Chitungwiza and the orgy of violence have nothing to do with Blessmore’s death nor to do with ZRP. They are all to do with the shaping up of the goal, and the goal is to ultimately increase the noise for regime change. The CCC is making a case to discredit the elections before they even start. Job has been itching to be arrested; he literally dared the Police to arrest him, but the moment he crossed the line the law acted swiftly.
In this broader concept, we can see that CCC has adopted scandal as a policy. Job Sikhala is a man who appears to have been born with a smelly scandal on his back. CCC enjoys the stench of that scandal. Because of Job’s nature, CCC finds a ready asset to use in their twisted policy. The seemingly loose canon in Job is actually the unofficial spokesperson of that party. CCC are more than complicity in the violence; they are the architects of the violence. They exploit the dangerous insanity of Job and the vulnerability of young people in their party. In those two, CCC finds a volatile blend which they are now exploding into full-scale criminality.
We are supposed to believe that CCC are a government in waiting. They neither have the governance credentials nor the moral capacity to govern this country when they disrespect its institutions and the cause to undermine law and order. From time to time, we all get concerned about the individual behaviour of some police officers. ZRP will be the first ones to agree with us when we genuinely complain on individual circumstances. In fact, ZRP have arrested their on members who have been prosecuted and punished. What we cannot and must not do is to spuriously attack the very organ that delivers on law and order. That becomes an attack on the Constitution. This is what CCC is engaged in with their funders spurring them on.
In the Western world (and this is the world that supports the attack of our institutions) it is a tradition that when the opposition party feels strongly about perceived police actions or inactions, the opposition leader seeks an audience with or and writes to the police chief to seek clarification. That is a laudable practice. In their own countries, it is a shame and unheard of and deeply unpatriotic to attack national institutions, law enforcement organs and civil servants. Yet it is the same countries that beckon CCC to do so while CCC feels a sense of greatness through that.
Clearly, CCC is one hundred percent sure that it will lose the election if it compaigns fairly and squarely. It must now create a situation of violence and chaos in readiness to cry foul. Then they will run to the courts. When the courts decide against their arguments, they declare them to be captured.
We agree fully with the concept of “caputure”. The only thing that we differ with CCC on is the identity of the captive. The real and true captive is the CCC, who were captured at inception by the Western powers. The true name of this party is Captured Citizens Coalition(ccc)
Whilst the right to protest is legal in Zimbabwe, there are restrictions and processes you should be aware of if you are planning to organise or take part in a protest. The right to protest is protected under the Constitution and it is a Human Right. However, this only applies to peaceful protest and does not extend to any violence inflicted or damage caused during a protest.
It must be noted that this right is not absolute and can be limited in certain circumstances. An example of this is when a protest or assembly would result in a threat to public health public peace and law and order.
This means that every individual, regardless of cause, has the right to protest, march or demonstrate in a public space.
Not only does every individual have this right, but the Police have a duty to refrain from restricting this right unnecessarily and they must take measures to protect peaceful protests. Even if they do not agree, or if there is some disturbance or offence caused to the general public, the Police must demonstrate a certain degree of tolerance towards protesters.
An individual also has the right under the Zimbabwean Constitution to freedom of expression. This includes a right to hold your own opinion as well as to receive and impart information without interference from public authorities.
While these rights are not absolute, they can only be limited if it is necessary and proportionate for the authorities to do so.
These rights also only apply to public spaces. Therefore, anyone protesting on private property without the permission of the occupier are likely to be viewed as a trespasser. Any limitation to the right to protest must be outlined in legislation. It must also be necessary, proportionate, and for one of the following aims: in the interest of national security or public safety,to prevent disorder or crime to protect health or morals to protect others’ rights and freedoms.
As we approach the last days before elections, we must unite. We have a country to save.