EZRA : MY TAKE ON SHUT DOWN

l support freedom of expression, freedom of association, and peaceful demonstrations. Everyone has the constitutional right to protest and express their views peacefully. The government of the day has to respect the constitutional obligations regarding the right to freedom of expression. On the order hand citizens of Zimbabwe have to respect the rights of fellow citizens, respect rule of law and rights of association and choices.

Hyenas and dogs masquerading as protesters went on a rampage in western suburbs of Bulawayo destroying buildings, infrastructures, burning cars and shops after looting, beating up and robbing innocent people and left destruction of unimaginable scale with number of people including police officers reported dead or injured. They looted and burnt down all the shops from every suburb, the shops which serve the communities. The heartless anarchists even stoned ambulances, clinics and looted medicines from pharmacies leaving so many people desperate for treatment.

They smashed windows of people's homes and rioted through the streets, set up road blocks as small toll gates where they forced motorists to pay cash to just to pass and go home. It was never a protest for fuel increases, it was a protest hijacked by violent thugs who took advantage of an unorganised and unco-ordinated fuel price increase demos in the name of "shutdown" where terror was unleashed on the ordinary innocent people and deserved equal blame for the unrest that left a number of innocent people dead & some seriously injured.

There is an enormous moral distinction between smashing a government building and smashing a person. Lumping the two under the umbrella of "violence" is linguistically lazy and politically irresponsible. It is worth noting that in the dramatic property-destruction terror campaigns of those groups of thugs should be investigated thoroughly, who are they, where did they come from and who was behind them. Speaking to many communities in Western Suburbs of Bulawayo where enormous damage is visible, they all confirmed they have never seen those thugs before.

Those thugs would come with bolt cutters and hammers, force open doors of shops, get in, steal whatever they can and then allow locals to get in and loot everything. They would move around and do the same in all the shops in Western Suburbs. Smashing windows, doors and destruction of any property is not only violence, it's vandalism. Beating up innocent people and destroying a building cant be compared. There is a difference—unless you think of people as the moral equivalent of property. Vandalism cant be used as a means of political expression? It's a very, very old tactic, dating back to Jesus smashing up the moneylenders' kiosks in the temple. And it is still popular among some, but totally anathema to most, today.

Lets condemn acts of arson, thuggery and looting and threats against citizens. Protesters should refrain from violence which will only cause further economic hardship. Message of violent protesters never hit home, only destruction of innocent People's properties & loss of life. The top people in Government are not affected buy hooliganism, threats to fellow citizens or vandalism of private properties. Now there are no supermarkets, clinics or shops in the western suburbs to serve the community, people have to walk from western suburbs to get to town just to buy milk and bread, very sad state of affairs. Ezra Sibanda via Facebook

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