Chenai Mutasa Post Correspondent
Recently, l was shocked to read about two daring assailants who stormed a police base in Chivhu and attacked soldiers, resulting in one of the soldiers losing his life, while the other was injured.
Somehow, the news sounded foreign. It is the kind of news that is familiar in countries like South Africa, Somalia or the United States of America and certainly not in Zimbabwe.
On the eve of 2016, there was a police and car hijacker’s shoot-out in Harare. Most people who heard the fracas thought the sound was coming from very powerful fire crackers.
This shows that the majority of people in this country are not familiar with gun sounds. Therefore not many would want such sounds to become regular.
The gun culture simply does not exist in Zimbabwe.
Therefore the Chivhu incident shocked everyone.
Fortunately the country’s military and law enforcement agents swiftly reacted and hunted down the assailants. The duo was located just outside Chivhu and were shot dead as they tried to evade arrest.
The swift and combined response by the country’s security forces surely dissuades those who might have been harbouring thoughts of committing such crimes.
The lessons from the Chivhu incident are clear for everyone to see. Toying with guns come with severe consequences in Zimbabwe.
Sadly due to the political polarisation in the country, some people are choosing to be narrow-minded and are failing to acknowledge that if the security forced had not acted swiftly, the assailants would have posed a greater danger at their doorsteps.
Surely, we can’t groom murderers at the expense of societal peace in order to appease activists who are seeking political relevance and recognition.
Driven by their hatred for the country’s security forces, the MDC officials probably wanted to represent those killers in court.
Parroted Ms Mahere, the MDC spokesperson: “Who decided that these citizens killed the soldier? By what process?
What happened to arresting, investigating and prosecuting? These extra judicial killings point to a breakdown of our social structure. This illegality, violence and militarization of civilian spaces must end.”
One wonders if she would have asked those silly questions with a rifle pointed at her head.
It is not only mischievous, but sad to see her, and other self-proclaimed ‘human rights’ activists questioning the manner in which security forces handled the Chivhu assailants. In other people’s minds, it was possible to negotiate with these terrorists to surrender. Really?
After committing murder, those two made good their escape into the bush. When they came face to face with the country’s security forces, those murderers were still armed with AK47 riffles and 120 bullets.
Allowing these murderers to roam about, all in an effort to apprehend them ‘peacefully’, would have been dangerous and a waste of time.
When faced with danger, human nature instinctively tunes into self-defence. This is the instinct that was summoned during that encounter with the assailants.
At any given time, law enforcement must neutralise the threat paused for the nation to live in peace.
Fortunately the public cannot be hoodwinked into blaming the victims — the soldiers.
By the way, the public rushed to attend to the injured soldier. Having witnessed what had happened, anyone in their right senses would know the real victim.
According to eye witnesses, the security details in question were conducting routine check-ups and enforcing Covid-19 regulations when an altercation ensued between them and the two assailants.
Such a trivial matter was not supposed to lead into murder.
Any person who is driven by such arrogance, to the extent of confronting security personnel, certainly deserves to be treated as a bandit.
“When you shoot a police officer, we’re going to pursue the death penalty,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes reportedly said at a news conference as he was announcing the charges against the Alabama suspect.
How then is this different from our security forces’ stance on self-defence?
Drawing closer to home, when an encounter ensues between law enforcement officers and terrorists, South Africa has a ‘shoot first and ask questions later policy’.
How then were the Chivhu killers any different from terrorists? The Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has condemned any attacks on members of the security establishment, as well as disarming and unlawfully taking arms in their possession.
For a country that does not allow random use of firearms, how did the two bandits intend to put these arms to use?