Well, the explosion that killed two people and injured 47 others at a Zanu PF rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo recently was barbaric, heinous, cruel and should be condemned with all the condescending superlatives in our diction.
Blood was unnecessarily spilled; life and limb were lost; the nation was shaken as the news of the blast went agog. Fear and anxiety spread life veld fire.
Two security men on duty, Nelson Dube and Stanley Mugunzva died from injuries sustained at the hands of the explosion and their death was a sad loss to the nation and their families.
However, there is simply one question that always crossed my mind ever since that black Saturday: Imagine it had happened at an MDC Alliance rally?
Without thinking an immature Nelson Chamisa (we all know) would have straight and loudly blamed it on Zanu PF and set the two political parties’ supporters against each other.
Fortunately for Zimbabwe the mishap befell a great and experienced revolutionary party that handled it with maturity.
Nelson Chamisa would have cried havoc. He would have cried “boycott!” He would have blamed Zanu PF, without giving a second thought. He would have torched a storm.
This attack is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and could have easily turned the whole country upside down, had it not been for the maturity of President Mnangagwa.
Despite surviving the attack, he remained calm, composed and collected and even visited victims from their hospital beds. But the greatest moment of his vision and management skill was when he did not quickly lay the blame on any particular individual, individual grouping or political part until the dust had settled a bit.
“The people of Bulawayo love me. It is my usual enemies!” he said.
President Mnangagwa was certainly alive to the fact that this kind of mishap, if not handled properly, could easily trigger violence against perceived opponents and true to his belief in peace, he made it clear that a professional investigation be conducted and the culprits be brought to book as per the law of this country.
Chamisa who has literally cried foul over every small thing from imagined rigging of elections to assassination attempt at the hands of a mere hovering fly, would have taken advantage and cried the loudest. By now our elections would be in jeopardy. He would have used it as precursor to imagined rigging through intimidation and assassination. Thank God, it did not happen at an MDC alliance rally.
The fecundity of it all is that national leaders distinguish themselves from ambitious fly-by-night pretenders, masquerading as national leadership material. The world over it is such acts of violence towards a major event like a national election that trigger an avalanche of violence and brutal murders.
They trigger elections violence.
But thumbs up for President Mnangagwa for giving the reaction to the bombing a thought process in the aftermath. It helped calm down angry and shocked party supporters. It helped manage rogue elements who would want to latch at every opportunity and cause mayhem in the name of retaliation.
The maturity displayed by the President, gave credence to good management of crisis situation, for, for many of us there is a tendency to blow over the top on such occasions.
Election times are very emotional and competitive and responsible behaviour is key to a free, fair and credible election.
It is hoped that the President’s reaction has taught a lesson to many who would have thoughtlessly laid blame and taken the law into their own hands.
The last aspect of the barbaric attack was its seeking to destroy a national leadership that has worked so hard to turn around the fortunes of this country. It is this seeking to destroy the biggest political party in the country and to stop the pending election in which the ruling party is certainly winning.
It is fact not fiction that the bombing did not come as an afterthought but was planned to derail the whole national progress and transition from the Robert Mugabe era to a new Zimbabwe as represented by President Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe should rise above such barbarism and forge ahead with love, peace, humility and progressiveness. What happened in Bulawayo is a shameful and evil act. It cannot be tolerated. It is idiotic and barbaric.
To my ancestors be the Glory.