From the above description, the inference is that there are several other forms of treason worst of which is the overthrow of a legitimate government or carrying out of a threat to a major figure such as a president (or Prime Minister, I should add).
I won’t leave you to wonder why I’m bringing this into this discussion. Going by the definition or description above, any right-thinking Zimbabwean (even the seemingly mentally unstable Jonathan Moyo), would probably concur that what Emmerson Mnangwagwa said recently is tantamount to treason. "We will continue to run this country even if we lose the next election and MDC will never be handed power. Those who did not vote the right way last time have to vote the right way this time but whatever the outcome, we will not give up power" said Mnangagwa, paraphrastically.
Imagine it was Morgan Tsvangirai, Nelson Chamisa, Tongai Matutu or Tendai Biti saying this at a rally somewhere in Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe! He would have been harmed on the sport or spent the next couple of days in maximum prison charged with treason, later appearing in court in the heaviest leg irons. Forget about what little nonentities and empty vessels such as desperate sycophant Simon Khaya Moyo and a former driver to Father Zimbabwe masquerading as a war veteran may have said.
These are just loose cannons and shameless opportunists who thrive on confusion, hatred and division. The fact that they are both from former ZAPU (not that I’ve anything against that great party) and singing for their supper at Gushungo’s table, is not a mere coincidence. They have to fight for relevance and recognition, just like Jonathan Moyo does, though he often overdoes it. The first prize in this contest will be tightly fought out between Jonathan and "your ever obedient son" Obert Mpofu. I’m sure Obert will be proud to change his name to Obedient!
Sorry for digressing a bit; my greatest concern is the context in which Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa made such a significant threat. By way of history, he is a former minister of State Security, indeed the architect of the dreaded and murderous CIO, a former minister of (in)Justice before he was demoted to the non-existent ministry of Social Amenities, the "political purgatory" of ZANU PF, where he had to pay for the sins committed by his surrogates at Dinyane while he narrowly survived the fall-out thanks to his boys who tipped him just on time while traditional "whirlwinds" (vana dzunguman) such as Chinamasa and Moyo were already excitedly but foolishly in Tsholotshlo.
Our nation hasn’t forgotten that Ndabaningi Sithole, Tendai Biti and Morgan Tsvangirai were once charged with trumped up treason when their actual crime was challenging dictatorship and poor governance by offering an alternative to the suffering masses of Zimbabwe. As expected, our competent courts acquitted all three as it was clear that there was no offence committed. In Mnangagwa’s case, this is totally different. Being current (or is it outgoing) Defence Minister and cognisant of his past plus perpetual presidential ambitions, Zimbabweans should never take his threat lightly.
A question that begs an answer is "in what capacity did Mnangagwa make such a monumental threat?" If it was as Defence Minister, then it is highly treasonous. If he made the statement as an ordinary ZANU PF activist, still the police must have taken quite an interest in such a dangerous incitement and inflammatory public statement. There are people that are being arrested and prosecuted for saying common and recycled ridicules against the person of the president (even some that Gushungo jokes about at times) but a Defence Minister who makes such a prodigious national threat gets away with it just like that.
Isn’t this classical selective application of the rule of law? Ironically, in the next breath, the same person says the West must lift targeted sanctions, my foot! Recently in Japan, a Justice Minister had to resign after saying in public that he had an easy job. This is what happens in countries where democracy is entrenched, shines and blooms. No wonder why their economies are doing extremely well. For saying such a treacherous statement, the Defence Minister should have been stood down if he did not resign. Anywhere, this is assuming that Zimbabwe is a normal state.
It is now quite evident that in Zimbabwe, a crime is only a crime when committed by someone who is not a ZANU PF apologist or strongman. Isn’t it incredible that thirty long years after independence, we are still trying to understand what constitutes a crime and what doesn’t? What has happened to the old notion of reflective learning? What a shame!!!!
A reality that ZANU PF zealots seem not to be aware of is that MDC doesn’t even need to campaign in order to win the next election. Mnangagwa, Jonathan Moyo, Simon Khaya Moyo and Jabulani Sibanda (amongst others) are perfectly doing that for them already by seriously and effectively de-campaigning ZANU PF whenever they open their mouths to speak. Ian Smith and Abel Muzorewa once made the same gross miscalculation in 1979 but were punished heavily in the ballot box despite dishing out all forms of threats and all types of pieces of silver particularly to teachers. Zimbabweans have come of age, politically, they will do it again come next election.
To SADC and the international community, our plea is simple; keep all relevant resources on standby just in case some lunatic decides to stage a coup after losing the next election as they certainly will. What works in DRC, Lesotho or Madagascar when there is subversion of people’s will, must also work in Zimbabwe. Instead of the moribund party strategising on a come-back after a long cold season in opposition, they are busy threatening and abusing the same people from whom they need those crucial votes.
Ndiko kunonzi "kufuratira" museve!!!!