THE pictures of police officers bludgeoning the 62-year-old unarmed Lilian Chinyerere-Mashumba at the Harare magistrate’s court on Friday last week was a poster for the sickening levels police brutality has reached in Zimbabwe. Those pictures along with the video showing police officers throwing a teargas canister in a packed commuter omnibus rubbishes the oft-repeated line by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) that they only retaliate when provoked by protestors.
As if the dastardly act of beating up the elderly Mashumba was not bad enough, the callous words of one of the policeman telling Mashumba to go home and die when informed by her that she suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure surely makes one’s blood boil.
Did the police seriously think that Mashumba would seriously harm all eight of them using her handbag? If she had provoked them in any way could they not have arrested her instead of raining their truncheons upon her frail body?
These nasty incidents only reinforce the belief that the ZRP are hell-bent on suppressing demonstrations and that they instigated the violence that broke out on Friday last week by provoking the protestors who had gathered to demonstrate against the lack of electoral reforms.
The levels of police brutality have not only alarmed the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, but some in government as Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s tweet on the issue a fortnight ago shows.
The private media has always been accused of trying to tarnish the image of the ZRP. It turns out they are doing a pretty good job of that themselves.
THE castigation of the courts by the government for carrying out its constitutional duty of allowing the opposition parties to protest is not only preposterous, but dangerous. Information secretary George Charamba blamed the courts for allowing protests on Friday last week to go ahead considering the circumstances around the protests.
It is one thing for Charamba to rightly condemn the violent protests, but it is entirely another matter when Charamba publicly censures the judiciary for upholding the constitution and defending people’s rights. It is not the judiciary’s duty to look at circumstances through political lenses. Their job is to make a ruling guided solely by the country’s constitution which allows citizens to protest peacefully.
There are clear checks and balances between the executive, the legislature and judiciary Charamba should not be poking his nose into judicial affairs. He is not a lawyer and his job anyway is being Mugabe’s megaphone, not to quarrel with judges.
If he is looking for someone to blame then he should vent his vitriol against the police who provoked the violence through attacking demonstrators.
We look forward to the Information secretary expressing similar indignation at the beating of sickly defenceless women by the police.
Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba never ceases to both amuse and amaze in equal measure. Shortly after his outrageous demand in parliament that all MPs should get diplomatic passports, Chinotimba has asked the army for guns to protect themselves from protestors.
“We should be security conscious, and we should all be vigilant. l am telling you now all is not well in Harare.
There is war. If you don’t know where you are standing you will be killed. We should be united,” he said.
“We are going to commanders, if it is now war, to give us our guns because we cannot be killed as we are owners of the guns.” With this request, Chinotimba has cemented his status as a rusticated country bumpkin and Zanu PF’s clown-in-chief.
That a man with such a comedian is one of the country’s lawmakers speakes volumes of the tragedy spawned by Zanu PF’s two-thirds majority in parliament. We can assure Chinotimba that he does not need a firearm to protect himself; he is actually a danger to himself. He is clear and present to others and himself.
Reports that President Robert Mugabe has had to rush to Dubai leaving the Sadc meeting in a huff makes sad reading.
That Mugabe is now more in the news for ill-health, stumbling or reading wrong speeches than his job of running the country shows that he has overstayed his welcome and should quit.
Well, he might be in Dubai on private business, but Zimbabweans would have hoped that he should have the same energy he has for travelling in fixing the economy, but his failures are so calamitous that he has virtually stopping pretending he knows what he is doing. He is clueless.
The decimation of the country’s currency after record hyper-inflation and 95% unemployment are just some of the hallmarks of his disastrous leadership which has severely tainted his legacy.
That some are fasting and praying for his demise as revealed by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko shows the level of frustration with Mugabe’s continued stay in office.
That Mugabe has refused to address the succession issue and will contest the 2018 elections despite his continued poor health portrays his selfish desperation to hang onto power by fair means or foul.
The sooner the nonagenarian hobbles away from State House with his wife Grace and her fake PHD in tow, the better for all.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has conceded failing to discharge one of its core functions of registering voters on a continuous basis as stipulated by the law due to lack of resources which once again will disenfranchise voters .
The breach was divulged in a letter from Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau responding to a complaint filed by eligible applicants, who had been denied the right to be registered as voters.
“It is ever correct that the commission is not registering voters in the wards and constituencies where there are no by-elections pending due to financial constraints. As soon as finances permit, we shall register all eligible voters on a continuous basis, countrywide,” Makarau said in a letter dated August 17, 2016 through her lawyers.
This is a serious neglect by the government and the reason they give of lack of resources is an insult to those wanting to register as voters given that Mugabe blows millions of dollars gallivanting across the globe to the extent of attending obscure youth festivals.
A fraction of that money for such important national exercises as voter registration would be more useful than wasting money on talk shows that result in endless memorandums of understanding.
Also of major concern is for how long they will trot this line dumb of lack of resources? No one buys this pathetic excuse anymore.
short and sweet …
Mugabe’s personality cult complex
President Mugabe last week saw off 30 students going on a presidential scholarship programme in China. This is the latest obsession by Mugabe to stroke his ego as a similar presidential inputs schemes and related dubious projects attest.
Why Mugabe feels he needs to have programmes that are directly under his tutelage when he superintends over all sectors of the economy and society is baffling. This is moreso when both the education and agriculture sectors across the country are in a shambles because of his awful policy failures.
One would think his ego would be soothed by having his portrait displayed at every government complex including the airport and having streets in the country’s major cities named after him.
Plans by his wife Grace to build a university named after him shows that the obsession with his own personality cult is now ludicrous, if not tragic.
Given his desperation for his presence to be felt and to protect his chequered legacy, it would be no surprise if there is to be an imposing statue of the nonagenarian or his head picture put on bond notes in the not too distant future. Mugabe is now just a joke.