10 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Mohadi Is Not Above the Law

The silence and lack of action by law enforcement agents following reports of alleged domestic violence by Vice-President Kembo Mohadi reflects badly on the government's position on the rule of law.

This publication last Sunday exposed how Mohadi stormed his former wife Senator Tambudzani Mohadi's home and threatened to shoot her after going on a rampage destroying property.

The VP allegedly poked his former wife with a metal rod before he was restrained by aides as he moved to collect a gun from his car.

Senator Mohadi said the senior Zanu PF politician hacked three doors with an axe and towed away three of her vehicles.

A group of at least 25 police officers are said to have witnessed the violent incident, but the law enforcement agents have not done anything about it a week later.

Violence against women has become a cancer in Zimbabwe and the government has over the years promulgated legal reforms to arrest the scourge.

Too many women die every year at the hands of their abusive spouses despite the legal statutes that protect them, hence the need for change in attitudes.

Mohadi not only violated the law with his shocking behaviour, but also put a serious dent on the government's efforts to eliminate the culture of violence against women.

He showed lack of respect for both women and the law through his conduct in the full glare of law enforcement agents.

What makes the incident more worrying is that the police in Beitbridge appear to have done their best in frustrating Senator Mohadi so that she does not press any charges against her former husband.

After observing the VP towing away the senator's cars, the police officers are said to have insisted that she must go and report her case at a police station.

Many victims of domestic violence are reluctant to report their cases fearing stigma and at times harassment by the police.

In Mohadi's case, the police clearly missed an opportunity to send a clear message that such crimes would never be tolerated no matter the social status of the perpetrators.

Victims of domestic violence also need to be assured that the Zimbabwe Republic Police is the first port of call for survivors and that their cases will be handled without any bias.

More importantly, the police owe it to Zimbabweans to demonstrate that no one is above the law by acting professionally and protecting the victim in this case.

Senator Mohadi told this publication that her former husband declared that he was above the law and the lack of action by the police would only confirm that the VP's declaration was true.

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