A useful test of how well a country is doing is whether those who purport to rule it are subject to the same laws as everyone else. If not then you’re going to get – if you haven’t already – capricious government. Capricity not being a good sign in government. So, just as an example, the recent jailing of a British MP for lying in court is a good sign. No, not a joy at an MP lying, but that she was indeed charged, tried and sentenced just like anyone else would have been over the same issue.
It’s possible to suggest that this isn’t quite what is happening in Zimbabwe. From our earlier report:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The current Vice President, Kembo Mohadi, has apparently turned up at his ex-wife’s house – Senator Mohadi that is – brandishing an axe, chopping through doors and then making off with the cars awarded to her by the courts. How unlike the home life of our own dear Queen this is. Of course, it’s easy to mock and who hasn’t been enraged by an ex- at some point? But there’s a rather more important point behind this which speaks to how Zimbabwe has changed, or hasn’t. Police are being a bit cagey about what happened, the Senator insists they just stood around and watched. And, well, does political position, like being the VP, mean you’re subject to the law or not? [/perfectpullquote]
That was from some 20 days ago. We’ve not a final answer as yet but things aren’t looking good:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Meanwhile, Tambudzani has registered displeasure at the manner in which police officers in Beitbridge handled the case where she was reportedly attacked by VP Mohadi. The VP has not been charged for the alleged violent attack on his ex-wife despite the fact that more than two dozen police officers were reportedly present at the scene of the crime and witnessed the VP in that fit of rage. Police sources in Beitbridge said Tambudzani was unhappy that “police let a person commit a crime while they watched” and were still to press criminal charges. [/perfectpullquote]
We’d expect something by now in a law based state, wouldn’t we? An arrest perhaps. A charging. If not of someone for an attack, perhaps of someone for false reporting of one?
Places where the rules don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else end up being not-nice places. Enforcing that rule of law is therefore an important matter.