EVEN a cursory assessment of the political landscape in the country will point to the abuse by the Zanu PF side of government of various arms of state in a bid to reclaim lost power.
The police and state-controlled media stand out as the main elements being abused in a bid to rekindle Zanu PF’s waned fortunes.
In spite of the fact that other political parties are more likely to be denied the clearance to hold peaceful gatherings, the police –– it seems –– are more than willing to “escort” Zanu PF activists whose protests usually turn violent.
Take the protest against the Harare City Council for example where Zanu PF youths tried to besiege Town House resulting in officials fleeing their offices fearing for their safety.
Anti-riot police had to intervene and cordon off the area between Jason Moyo Avenue and Speke Avenue, Julius Nyerere Way and Leopold Takawira Street, the streets that surround Town House, way after the damage had already been done.
On Monday the police sanctioned another demonstration by Zanu PF activists under the banner of Upfumi Kuvadiki this time protesting against foreign-owned businesses.
We again witnessed another orgy of violence, this time accompanied by looting resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars worth of property. While the police afterwards claimed to have “nabbed” a number of suspects, few will be convinced of their sincerity in ending this scourge.
The nation still awaits the arrest and trial of known figures who allegedly petrol-bombed MDC-T’s Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya in 2000. One of the alleged killers, Joseph Mwale, continues to roam the streets.
Why are the police not probing and arresting those responsible for the bloody June 2008 presidential election run-off campaign which the MDC-T says claimed the lives of more than 200 of its supporters, with thousands maimed and displaced? As long as these matters remain outstanding, the Chihuris and Bvudzijenas cannot claim that the police are not partisan and apolitical.
They will remain in the eyes of the public as Zanu PF attack dogs.
The state media has taken on the role of mopping up Zanu PF’s dirty work by shamelessly apportioning the blame for the disturbances to the MDC-T. The state media has turned itself into an extension of Zanu PF’s information and publicity department –– a clear violation of the GPA and its public mandate. Whatever morbid thing Zanu PF does, they have a readymade scapegoat.
As usual they are unperturbed by the fact that in the process, they insult Zimbabweans’ intelligence. Added to this, reports abound of Zanu PF activists making no-go areas of rural areas to other political entities.
Violence and intimidation are on the rise, re-opening yet to be healed wounds from the 2008 elections and for some the Gukurahundi massacres. It makes a mockery of national healing initiatives which the GPA states should be made before elections.
What becomes clear is that Zanu PF continues with its violence whilst the state security agencies continue with their “see no evil, hear no evil” approach and the “public” media then blame it on the MDC-T. The state media would give Hollywood a run for its money in disseminating fiction.
For instance the Herald falsely claimed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addressed diplomats at Harvest House on Monday when he was in Australia. In all fairness it is criminal for them to demand listeners and viewers’ licences with the partisan drivel they pass for programming.
Judging by how choreographed this onslaught is, it is hard for us to believe President Robert Mugabe’s claims of ignorance of the events unfolding. He should, for once, rise above the fray and ensure sanity and dignity reign in Zimbabwe for the sake of posterity.
In as far as elections are concerned the playing field is already uneven. Elections under the current framework will always be disputed and by all indications we are heading for another bloody and polarising poll. Security sector and media reforms; and national healing are more due than an election which is likely to sink the nation into a socio-economic abyss.
Where are the guarantors of the GPA –– Sadc and the AU –– when Zanu PF is working overtime to return this country to before September 15 2008?