Mphoko says he does not know why soldiers and police are fighting- maybe it is over uniforms

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Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday said he did not know why soldiers and the police were fighting in the capital but most fights even in people’s homes were due to attitudes.

“Maybe it is because someone thinks his uniform is more beautiful than that of the other but politically people do fight,” Mphoko who is also the Minister of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation said in the Senate yesterday.

“Fighting, my sister Hon. Sen. Ncube, is caused by people who think they are better than others in their parties.  I know Hon. Sen. Komichi used to fight a lot.

“Yes, we are politicians but if we take it beyond this, we should not think that we are better than the others.  The problem is not in the Ministry but in us.”

Soldiers and police clashed in the capital this week but there has been no official explanation of what the fight was about.

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi told Parliament on Wednesday he would only be able to explain the clashes after getting reports from the police and the army.

Whispers, however, say the fights are political and were sparked by sentiments at the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front rally at Chinhoyi over the weekend.

Q & A

*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: I am very grateful for the presence of Hon. Vice President Mphoko in this House.  We welcome you Hon. Member especially coming from the Ministry of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. In this country, we have people who are enemies and are always fighting.  There are also tensions within these people.  So, I would want to find out what you are doing as a Ministry to create peace and order in the country so that the next general elections will be held peacefully?

THE VICE PRESIDENT AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL HEALING, PEACE AND RECONCILIATION (HON. MPHOKO):  I would like to thank the Hon. Member for his question.  Your question is about children fighting at home.  These are attitudes because fighting comes from attitudes.  I will give you an example where members of one family belonged to two different political parties.  There were two guys from the Mvenge family.  One was in ZAPU and the other was in ZANU.  These two brothers would go their separate ways to their parties and come back home under one roof.  There was no fighting whatsoever until one of them died because of a car accident.  Fighting is caused by attitudes.

The Ministry has very little it can do but I think the homes themselves have a responsibility not to take politics as that which runs lives.  The moment you want to make yourself professional or a special politician, because there has never been a special professional politician, you will always go wrong.  However, the role of the Ministry of National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation is to ensure that it intervenes where orphans cannot go to school; people cannot open bank accounts or vote and cannot get birth certificates. I am sure you are all aware that we went and commissioned the programme to have children get their birth certificates.

Let me say to the Hon. Member who asked the question, let us not take politics to a certain level where it is not supposed to be.  Let me also remind you Hon. Sen. Komichi that you are older than ZANU, ZAPU or MDC in terms of age.  All these things came long after you were born and I think we must look at things from that angle.  We should also not take politics as a profession please.  I thank you.

+HON. SEN. S. NCUBE:  I am still on the same question that was asked.  I think the Vice President did not answer the question correctly.  The Hon. Member wanted to know the efforts the Ministry is making in connection with the infighting.  For example, yesterday the police were fighting with soldiers and the police were assaulted and we are going towards elections.

HON. MPHOKO:  Are you asking about efforts being done where fights are going on between people?  People fight because of attitudes.  I will repeat that.  I do not know why the police and soldiers are fighting.  Maybe it is because someone thinks his uniform is more beautiful than that of the other but politically people do fight.  Fighting, my sister Hon. Sen. Ncube, is caused by people who think they are better than others in their parties.  I know Hon. Sen. Komichi used to fight a lot.  Yes, we are politicians but if we take it beyond this, we should not think that we are better than the others.  The problem is not in the Ministry but in us.  I thank you.

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