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Zim should pluck leaf from SA, Botswana

I HAVE learnt through meeting many Zimbabweans living in the UK that although we live far away from home our love for Zimbabwe thrives and refuses to diminish.


sit and talk whenever we meet about the people, our wildlife, topography and rivers until unavoidably we are caught up in the heat of political debate.

One thing we share as I realised is the distaste we have for the economic hardships our relatives back home wake up to day-in and day-out.

I am particulary displeased with the reality that President Mugabe and his party are trying more and more to condemn Zimbabwe to a permanent African dictatorship.

Since 2000 a review of our legislation initiated by Zanu PF can only point out how the party has increasingly closed democratic space.

Laws such as Aippa, Posa and such others which allow political activists to be detained without trial for weeks which can turn out to be months are in themselves the true reflection of Zanu PF anachronism.

Zanu PF is initiating laws that only sell itself to the world as a rogue and abitrary despot.

I can promise that if there was change of gorvenment Zanu PF would be the first to want all the laws it initiated repealed.

These are laws extracted from Ian Smith’s Rhodesian Front policies and imply to us that Zanu PF sees people in the same way Smith’s government did. This is the tragedy that must be resolved as our freedom is in reality illusionary and still at large.

I have heard many times the MDC being accused of being sell-outs, being the extention of the imperial arm trying to turn Zimbabwe into a satellite state.Those who allege this have done nothing besides creating hunger, joblessness, homelessness and misery for people who believed in them.

Zanu PF makes a healthy mind sick. What really is the rationale behind this political repression? Why is it so important for Zanu PF to control human beings in the way they try to? Why can’t we be just and fair and allow people to control their own lives independent of government?

The world over people are happier when they choose what they want to listen to, choose what to read, who to vote into public office and much more. It leads to competition and raises standards of service delivery.

Zimbabwe looks much more now like a big prison with people just waiting to be charged. It pains to see a once prosperous country falling to ruins and turn into a pariah nation. But we must come to practical political terms and terminate this trademark lamentation we have as critics and opposition.

Zanu PF is prepared to do more to stay in power and so must we do more to make sure we remove it in the national interest. Any country that stands shoulder to shoulder with Zanu PF as South Africa does and enacts laws quite the opposite of what we have in Zimbabwe is a hypocrite.

If South Africans are happy with President Mugabe’s rule and his laws why did they themselves repeal apartheid laws whose repressive effect is the exact equivalent of former colonial laws being resharpened in Zimbabwe?

Can President Thabo Mbeki attempt to enact the “good laws” Zimbabwe has for his people?

I urge all neighbouring countries around Zimbabwe to be democratically-driven and give to exile broadcasters the right to inform and entertain Zimbabwe. It gives Zimbabweans a choice as they themselves turn to these stations freely. The only reason they broadcast from outside the country is that choice is not permissible in Zimbabwe. If it was, then the stations would be broadcasting from their Motherland.

This reminds me of that stage before Independence when Maputo assisted Zimbabwe’s freedom fighters with a frequency before the fall of Smith. It is important to note that those who turn to these stations are not being bullied to do so, they are individuals exercising their right to choose. This should rightly be seen as an embarrassment to the Zimbabwe government as private broadcasting is only safe and legal in nearby countries and not within.

The solution lies in taking a leaf from South Africa and Botswana and allow independent broadcasting and independent newspapers. These two countries are African countries in the region the Zimbabwean government can learn from. Even with such independence in their countries they are still very politically stable.

Courage Shumba,


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