Whither Zim?

HARARE - Do last week’s deadly riots at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Zimbabwe’s biggest correctional services centre, signify worse things to come for the country?

And, is Zimbabwe fast degenerating into a feared police State, with anarchy set to become the order of the day?

These are the questions that President Robert Mugabe, who is away on a three-week excursion to Japan, needs to answer as restive Zimbabweans ponder their seemingly gloomy future.

Our fear is that Friday’s food riots by 900 prisoners, and the subsequent death of at least three people — together with the recent abduction of pro-democracy activist Itai Dzamara — are a sign that all is not well in Zimbabwe.

The rioting at the overpopulated prison also came two days after angry youths clashed with the police on Tuesday, as they demanded the release of Dzamara, who was abducted from a Harare barber shop on Monday last week.

There is no doubt that Zanu PF, Mugabe and his government are the biggest losers in these sorry events, even if it is true that they have not had a hand in Dzamara’s disappearance.

This is so given that the abduction of Dzamara and the worrying signs of civil unrest are coming at a time when Zanu PF is trying to manage its succession challenges ahead of the country’s much anticipated 2018 national elections — including the open rebellion by some of its senior officials that has culminated in the brutal purges from office of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies.

Zanu PF and its government are also losers because these terrible events are coming at a time that the likes of acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa rightly embarked on a charm offensive to try and lure investors and development partners who had long turned their backs on Zimbabwe.

Indeed, Zimbabwe cannot afford these riots or a repetition of the Jestina Mukoko debacle as that means the country will revert to its pariah status that it is fighting so hard to shed and that has caused so many hardships to innocent Zimbabweans.

Given strong perceptions nationally and internationally of its poor human rights record, Mugabe’s government must thus act with speed and determination to nab those who abducted Dzamara and to also swiftly put an end to the hunger stalking prisons.

These steps are crucial if Mugabe’s government is to ever have any chance of pulling Zimbabwe out of the current economic morass it finds itself in, as national stability and the prevalence of the rule of law are pre-requisites for progress in a democracy.

Comments (1)

these are two issues at play here that does not involve ZPF. first, dzamara was never abducted but stage managed his disappearance in an attempt to gain far reaching political mileage.second , the rioting at the chikurubi correctional facility is a clear sign of lawlessness that calls for sterner disciplinary action.the revolutionary party , we will emerge victorious as usual even in the face of mounting criticism 063617C forever ZRP

fire links - 17 March 2015

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