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Mtetwa petitions authorities to arrest Zanu PF man calling for violent murder of Chamisa

Top human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is pushing for the arrest of a Zanu-PF official, Abton Mashayanyika who called for the violent murder of opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa, his children and supporters.

Mashayanyika, also nicknamed Bhito, a Bishop in the Habakkuk Apostolic Faith Mission earlier this month made headlines after a video of him inciting Zanu-PF supporters in Mberengwa North to kill Chamisa and his supporters went viral.

“When we say down, down with Chamisa. It means he must be killed. When you respond you should do so knowing that I’m saying so and so should die. Down with CCC,” he declared.

The man has since declared that he is “too Zanu-PF to be arrested” over the issue.

This prompted Mtetwa, through Mtetwa and Nyambirai law firm to write to the Commissioner General of Police, Zimbabwean Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) advising them that they should exercise their respective authorities to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrator to book.

“I write to all your organizations concerning a video that has been circulating on various social media platforms where the person addressing the meeting called for the violent murder of NELSON CHAMISA, other supporters of his political party and his children.

“Should you require the video which incites the murder and violence. against members of a lawful political party, the same is readily available,” she said.

“Like other citizens, I have been waiting with bated breath for the arrest of the inciter and for the law to take its course. As it does not appear that the law enforcement agencies have taken any action on this inciteful calls, I shall assume that the country’s ever alert law enforcement agents this video in their usual scouring of social media sites in search of offensive and possibly criminal material.

“Investigations have determined that the incitement to Murder and violence was issued by one ABTON MASHAYANYIKA, with the nickname BHITO who is said to be a Bishop of a religious organisation known as HABBAKUK APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION.

“The inciter was addressing a ruling party rally at RAMPOPO HILLS under CHIEF MAPIRAVANA in MBERENGWA NORTH and that he is from the DLEHARI AREA under SABHUKU KURAICHA.”

To the Commissioner General of Police, Mtetwa said she requested that “in line with your Constitutional mandate to detect, investigate, and prevent crime, in addition to protecting and securing the lives and property of Zimbabweans, you investigate these utterances with a view to prosecuting what is clearly a criminal offence which has the potential of affecting the country’s internal security and the various rights that citizens are entitled to enjoy as provided for in the Constitution.”

“To the Zimbabwean Human Rights Commission, I bring this matter to your attention so that you can, as part of your Constitutional mandate, investigate the conduct of the maker of the inciteful words with a view to directing the Commissioner General to fully investigate the matter as there can be no doubt that the call for the killing of Zimbabweans in a clear criminal act which violates Zimbabweans’ rights to freedom of association and the right to join and to participate in the activities of political parties of their choice has no place in a country which has full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”

She urged the NPRC to intervene with the view of ensuring peace through its reconciliation role according to the supreme book of the land.

“To the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, I request that, in terms of your Constitutional mandate, you intervene in this matter with a view to preventing the carrying out of the call to murder MR CHAMISA and his children and that you seek to conciliate and mediate any perceived conflict amongst the country’s political parties so that potential conflict, particularly as we approach the 2023 elections, is It is my belief that your Commission, which is fully aware of the bloody nature of previous elections, is obliged to proactively advocate for tolerance and respect of different political beliefs and to promote peaceful co-existence amongst political parties. To this end, your Commission ought to be proactive in the discharge of its mandate where blatant calls for violence are made.

“And to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, this is a complaint which would, if handled as is envisaged by the law, help political parties understand that every Zimbabwean has the right to participate in the country’s political processes without fear of being killed, maimed, intimidated and ultimately excluded in the determination of who governs the country. I therefore request that you take all necessary steps to ensure that all political parties are allowed the space required to campaign unhindered as the country approaches the 2023 elections and that where there are clear breaches of the law which will affect the fairness and freeness of electoral processes, you deal with such breaches in terms of the powers given to you under the Electoral Act.

“And to the National Prosecuting Authority, the request is that you look into this matter and exercise your prosecutorial powers independently, impartially and without fear or favour so that the perception that you only pursue and vigorously prosecute opposition political party members can be dispelled,” she said.