Governing Through Fear, Violence,Terror and Intimidation-Trademark Zanu(PF) Style
OPINION – Twenty-two western diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe recently raised concern over the rising political violence and urged security forces and the judiciary to remain impartial.
This request would be heeded in any other country but not in Zimbabwe where the security forces and judiciary are largely partisan and appendages of Zanu-PF. Over the years and of note, recently , they have been used by Mugabe to create a highly repressive system of governance that suits the Zanu-PF agenda to rule forever. At the centre of Zanu-PF,s modus operandi is the creation of an atmosphere of fear so as to whip the helpless citizens into submission or make them stay away from elections lest they vote for the opposition.
Recent events that include the arrest of Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma, ousting of Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo, continued detention of Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora as well Munyaradzi Gwisai have raised eyebrows elsewhere but not in Zimbabwe. That is the operational policy of Zanu-PF and illustrates its sledgehammer approach to dealing with the opposition.
The Minister is alleged to approached NOOA Petroleum(RSA) to supply 5m litres of diesel during the December 2010 fuel shortage period. NOOA in turn subcontracted Petrotrade (Mozambique) to supply. The delivery was hit by adverse weather conditions, red tape as well as Petrotrade,s lack of an import permit to get the fuel into Zimbabwe. At stake is the USD4.4million that Zimbabwe paid.
It would be expected that the minister is innocent until proved guilty. In Zanu-PF land he is guilty until proved innocent. Elton Mangoma may have a case to answer before the courts but the way he has been treated is designed to humiliate, embarrass and break his spirit. How many Zanu-PF ministers have ever been dragged before the courts to answer charges of corruption even where there is overwhelming evidence against them? With Roy Bennett, the MDC Treasurer , forced into exile in South Africa one would not be wrong to conclude that the charges against Mangoma are designed to incapacitate the MDC treasury.
Socialist Gwisai, a lecturer and head of International Socialist Organisation and seven others are languishing at Chikurubi and face treason charges of plotting to overthrow the Zimbabwean government in an Egypt-style uprising. Incarcerated at Chikurubi and in solitary confiment they have been tortured, brutalized and denied medical attention.
On February 23 the Nyanga North MP called MDC supporters to brief them on the Constituency Development Fund. It is alleged the meeting was hijacked by Zanu-PF militia and descended into total chaos and mayhem. The Nyanga North MP as well as 24 MDC activists are in Mutare remand prison charged with inciting violence while the real perpetrators, Zanu-PF militia , are having the last laugh and obviously wrecking more anarchy on behalf of their paymasters fully aware that they are untouchable.
Even though the MP and activists were granted bail by the courts the state invoked the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to perpetuate continued incarceration. The objective is to get Zanu-PF Nyanga candidate Nyanhongo elected at the next elections. This scenario is not confined to just Nyanga but is the strategy in all constituencies where Zanu-PF lost out in 2008 elections.They aim is reclaim all those constituencies by any means possible!
I have just highlighted 3 cases but one can add-on the Anti-Sanctions drive, threats to drag Tsvangirai to courts over Wikileaks as examples that prove beyond doubt that the increase in violence as elections loom over the horizon. It does not matter how Zanu-PF is elected into office. The end justifies the means .It does not matter that Gaddaffi is using massive state resources to win back Zawiya, Ras Lenouf and other towns as long as his extends his 41 years in power.
These dictators are brothers in-arms prepared to rule forever! Creating fear all over Zimbabwe will ensure that MDC supporters are forced to vote Zanu-PF or stay away from the elections for their own safety thereby seriously diminishing the opposition,s chances of winning anything. Apathy has been a large part of Zimbabwean elections. It can be argued that the voters have no better choice but to a large extent it is due to the consequences of voting for anyone other than Zanu-PF. Remember Operation Mavhotera Papi and the disputed 2008 elections. Repressive governance is in Zanu-PF,s DNA and is their trade-mark style.