Saviour Kasukuwere can not threaten civilians with unspecified action Political Reporter- Simba Moyo

Whenever, a leader makes certain negative comments about someone, it has a tendency of being taken as an order, or form of justification of attacking that person by the leader’s subordinates.

Remember the comments that were made by the Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini sometime ago in South Africa concerning foreigners, or most recently the comments made by Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, in both cases violence, xenophobic attacks followed.

The same thing also happened with Gukurahundi.

Thousands of innocent people were butchered following reckless statements by the country’s leadership.

But people are wising up and our leaders should exercise restraint and self control knowing that a sharp tongue cuts its own throat.

Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, a decorated CIO operative, recently made headlines when he threatened journalists from The Herald newspaper with unspecified action.

While it is well known that journalists should not be partisan in carrying out their duties, threats by Kasukuwere were not warranted, as they were many ways at his disposal to seek recourse.

Some analysts believe it is dangerous for senior public figures to threaten civilians with unspecified action.

Political commentator, Elder Mabhunu says the minister may have set bad precedence in making those threats more so as the nation gears up for elections which are usually characterised by violence.

“It is wrong for a senior government official to threaten civilians with any action other than legal action. This is because of the fact that he is a politician, senior public figure he is able to do anything including killing.

“Kasukuwere did a mistake, you cannot threaten civilians that way, he would rather have threatened with legal action. This could exonerate him if something bad happen to those he threatened,” he says.

He adds that now it is on record, once something bad happens to those guys people will remember his threats and hold him answerable, even when he is not the one who may have caused the incident.

“When we were growing, we used to be guided against saying ‘Uchazviona’ (You will see it) to someone. Threats are dangerous especially when you are a senior public official,” he adds.

Meanwhile, some media organisations in the country have slammed Kasukuwere’s behaviour saying it is a threat to freedom of speech and expression. The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) says what he did may be interpreted by his followers as an endorsement of violence.

ZUJ urges journalists to be guided by factual, ethical, and professional way of conduct as their line of defence. The association also calls upon politicians to desist from dragging journalists in their political fights, and vice versa.

MISA Zimbabwe chips in saying while the media is not immune to criticism, the abusive language that Kasukuwere used was unacceptable and could trigger onslaught tendencies against the lawful duties of the media. zimnews