Zimbabwean civic activists up in arms over comments by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa at a recent human rights conference in Geneva saying Zimbabwe does not need security sector reform say they are considering a novel protest approach.
At a public meeting this week organized by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Chairman Lovemore Madhuku, also a lawyer, said activists should pelt Chinamasa with eggs to object to his stance.
Reform of the police, the military and other security agencies is a major sticking point in talks between the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF about fulfillment of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing and the scheduling of a new round of national elections.
The MDC says the security sector must be reformed or it will interfere with elections and potential block a transition. ZANU-PF insists the security sector can’t be touched.
Madhuku told VOA reporter Violet Gonda that civil society will organize a pelting protest starting in January to push for reforms, followed by a series of other actions focusing on what he called political hypocrisy on the rising level of violence in the country.
“We say the only way of reacting to Chinamasa’s arrogance and misrepresentation of the situation in the country is to harass him politically ... and in this case we called upon people to do a symbolic action of throwing eggs at him,” Madhuku said.
But Goodson Nguni, president of the Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations, objected to the pelting strategy which he said amounted to thuggery.
“We think it is undemocratic. We think it’s immoral for anybody to encourage anybody to be hit with eggs," Nguni said. "We don’t even think that our political enemy – someone we don’t like here like Morgan Tsvangirai, should be pelted by eggs by anyone.”
Madhuku said it is not illegal to throw eggs at ministers, as no harm can be inflicted.