“Come on Zanu PF. Where are your celebrations? The people of Zimbabwe, who voted emphatically for the party and its candidate, are itching to join you in your wild merry-making.”
The nation was alarmed this week to learn that the country is so free that anyone can just have their own military unit.
Last Wednesday, at least six people were mowed down by bullets on the streets of Harare. In the days that followed, there were many reports of armed men, some in uniform, harassing the public and raiding the homes of opposition activists. So government sent in the country’s top diplomat, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, to calm everyone down with facts.
No, he said. The army was not harassing anyone.
“We have fully investigated this and the head of Chitungwiza hospital has informed us that there were never any people who were formally detained in hospital,” Moyo said, conveniently avoiding mention of the fact that the head of Chitungwiza hospital was a Zanu PF candidate in the election.
Moyo went on: “But what we are also witnessing is that there may be certain personalities who might be purporting to be soldiers and are not soldiers that are going about imitating as if they are. This is what we are busy investigating.”
Muckraker joins the rest of the nation in wondering if the men we all saw firing into the crowd last Wednesday, and even thrusting their bayonets at fleeing protestors, were also “purporting to be soldiers and are not soldiers”.
And all those army trucks? Where did these imposters get those? Clearly we live in an era where any one of us can simply acquire army uniforms, rustle together some AK47s, get an army tanker from car breakers at Magaba in Mbare, and go shooting up the CBD for fun. That’s the new dispensation!
Meanwhile, the President-Elect Emmerson Mnangagwa is doing everything in his power to reassure everyone that he has no power whatsoever.
Firstly, he had no idea why the army had felt it necessary to use deadly force against protestors. He promised a commission of inquiry into the matter, a commission he told us would include both foreign and locals to make it as independent as possible.
While we were still chewing over this, we saw last week police raiding a whole press conference at the Bronte Hotel, menacingly rattling their shields like ancient Zulu warriors and ordering journalists to leave the place.
It took acting Information minister Simon Khaya Moyo, bursting onto the scene like a miniature movie action hero, to disperse the cops and allow the presser to continue.
Within an hour, the cops had released a statement apologising for the “inconvenience”.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police sincerely regrets the inconvenience that took place at the venue of the MDC Alliance press conference this afternoon,” it grovelled in its press statement.
“The ZRP sincerely aplolgises and wish to state that we respect freedom of the media, freedom of expression and freedom of association as provided for by the Zimbabwean laws. This isolated incident should not be misconstrued to mean that we are heavy handed.”
It was a statement that convinced the sum total of nobody. At State House, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba again said sorry, saying the mess was due to a “lapse in command”.
Mnangagwa’s Twitter account was at its usual PR best, telling us this was all not part of the free society he was building.
This all made it look, in the eyes of the public, that none of these people knew what the hell was going on.
Indeed, they were like a bunch of headless chickens. They were like the rest of us, the povo, watching some of our security forces do as they please.
So, Mnangagwa didn’t know about the use of gunfire on civilians. He didn’t know about the actions of alleged army officers on civilians in residential areas.
He didn’t know about the mess at the press conference. What, exactly, does the man know? We are beginning to wonder if he even knows how he won that election.
One person the opposition will miss in Zanu PF is the foul mouthed and debt-ridden Terence Mukupe. Few people have been more useful than the deputy Finance minister.
Just when the rest of us, including the President himself, were wondering why on earth the army were deployed when it looked like the ZRP were in control, in came Mukupe with his explanation.
“How do we send the ZRP Support Unit that voted against the President to contain the stupid demo by Biti and his MDC buffoons! It is time for the army to move in and restore order!” Mukupe roared.
It turns out that the police support Unit, which falls under Harare East where Mukupe lost to Tendai Biti, didn’t vote for Zanu PF. And Mukupe reckons, because they voted this way, they cannot be trusted with doing their jobs.
Just as revealing as his remarks that the army would never allow Chamisa to win. What a useful idiot we have in Terence, just like Thokozani Khupe and some opposition leaders more opposed to the opposition than the ruling leaders. A real national asset. We plead for his stay in Government to be extended. Long may he keep his gaping mouth wide open, and his brain sealed shut.
Zanu PF has displayed the strangest way of celebrating victory.
Instead of pouring into the streets to celebrate their win, Zanu PF is, instead, sending people to the homes of those it defeated to arrest and harass them.
We always knew Zanu PF is a party of odd and unusual ideas, but this is a bit strange even by their own weird standards.
The Herald called Mnangagwa’s win “emphatic”, even though he only managed to avoid a run-off by garnering a 0,8% margin above the threshold.
Visiting journalists have been combing the country, desperate to find any sight of celebrating Zanu PF supporters. They haven’t found any, save for occasional sightings every night on ZBC news and delusional stories and opinions in the state-controlled media, especially The Herald. Zanu PF celebrations are now like your usual Hollywood stuff; fictional things you only see on TV, but never in real life.
This must be the first time ever that people celebrate a win by arresting folks. How is MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti arrested for “declaring results”, while there is no visible punishment of that soldier — or whoever he is — caught on camera gleefully firing away into a civilian crowd?
Come on Zanu PF. Where are your celebrations? The people of Zimbabwe, who voted “emphatically” for the party and its candidate, are itching to join you in your wild celebrations.
Law of the jungle rears ugly head
Amid the madness brought about in the aftermath of last weeks’ polls, there are those who will not tolerate this circus such as Harare Magistrate Francis Vitorini.
He has granted US$50 bail to each of the 27 MDC Alliance supporters charged for public violence which rocked Harare last Wednesday despite spirited efforts by the State to keep them locked up in ways reminiscent of the former president Robert Mugabe’s era, where citizens were locked without the niceties of upholding their rights.
Vitorini ruled that the state, led by chief law officer Michael Reza, had failed to prove personal circumstances of each of the accused persons on the day the offence took place and also failed to pursue compelling reasons for denial of bail.
He also reminded the overzealous Reza that the court cannot be reduced into political theatre as that is best left for politics and the media. This once again is evidence that the so-called new dispensation is farcical and that the law of the jungle is still well and truly alive in Zimbabwe.