Mugabe's jittery gvt lays into opposition

HARARE - As the government continues with its savage clampdown against dissenting voices in the country, it emerged yesterday that hundreds of opposition members and pro-democracy activists were arrested by police at the weekend — amid charges by critics that the country is now effectively operating under a state of emergency.

At the same time, it was also confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that one of the country’s biggest hospitals, Harare Central, has suspended all non-emergency surgeries indefinitely, citing a critical shortage of drugs — laying bare how much things are falling apart in Zimbabwe.

The weekend crackdown on dissenting voices by panicking authorities followed an ominous warning by Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo last week, when police re-issued a highly contentious ban on all demonstrations in central Harare for a month, that the State would act on protesters without mercy, in moves which heightened fears that the government had now effectively effected a state of emergency in the country in its desperate bid to contain growing civil unrest.

The crackdown on critics over the past few days also came as political parties coalescing under the banner of the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera) were planning to hold nationwide protests to press for much-needed electoral reforms ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national elections.

“On Saturday, the collapsing regime, fronted by (President) Robert Mugabe, proved to the entire world beyond a shadow of doubt that it has declared war against innocent and unarmed civilians who are seeking to exercise their constitutional right to engage in peaceful demonstrations as provided for under Section 59 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“To all intents and purposes, therefore, the bankrupt and clueless Zanu PF regime has since imposed a de facto state of emergency throughout the country,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said yesterday.

“Zimbabwe is now under siege from the brutal and collapsing Zanu PF regime. The people of Zimbabwe are now prisoners in their own country, held captive by a cruel, insensitive and rogue regime that is obsessed with the politics of power retention.

“Zimbabwe has now reached a tipping point. Throughout the length and breadth of the country, armed police officers and hundreds of Zanu PF thugs and hooligans were deployed specifically to harass, intimidate, assault and arrest people who were peacefully engaging in public demonstrations demanding the adoption of electoral reforms, amongst other key demands from the toiling masses of Zimbabwe.

“Unfortunately, the Zanu PF regime has since degenerated and mutated into an evil Frankstein monster that wants to feed on the suffering and the blood of its own people,” Gutu fumed further.

Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980, is facing the biggest challenge to his 36-year rule.

Since the economy began experiencing serious turbulence, including witnessing banks running out of cash, the government is under growing pressure as angry Zimbabweans have mounted seemingly unending demonstrations.

Analysts also warned yesterday that his jittery government would now more and more resort to abusing the security apparatus to contain dissent, particularly noting that the Zimbabwe Constitution allowed Mugabe to declare a partial or full state of emergency if he thought it necessary.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Tendai Biti, told the Daily News yesterday that it was now clear that Zimbabweans were dealing “with a government that has lost all legitimacy”.

“The wheels have totally come off. Mugabe has declared a de facto state of emergency because he has suspended the bill of rights by banning demonstrations. The regime doesn’t think, violence is in their DNA. Zanu PF doesn’t have any other way of solving disputes, except violence. Violence is their first language.

“The people of Zimbabwe should continue doing what they are doing. This is an illegitimate regime. We are going to be in streets, churches, rivers, oceans and courts fighting this regime.

“This country doesn’t belong to Mugabe and his clan. There is no one with two birth certificates, which means people are equal,” he said.

“We will fight constitutionally. We don’t want war in this country. What we are asking is only respect from Zanu PF. We are in a season of implosions.

“It is only a question of time before the army moves in. Everything is imploding, students, the general public, Zanu PF and even the age of the president,” the agitated Biti added.

The ruthless clampdown on citizens by the panicking authorities began on Friday when Harare nightclub revellers were randomly and severely assaulted, including in the high density suburb of Kuwadzana where soldiers bludgeoned patrons who were just having a good time.

They again savaged revellers in Kuwadzana on Saturday, before ordering the early closure of shops at St Mary’s Huruyadzo Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza.

Rights groups, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Abammeli Human Rights, said yesterday that there had been many arrests of opposition and civic society leaders across the country, including MPs. Among these were MDC legislators Trevor Saruwaka and Ronia Bunjira.

“Mugabe does not believe in the rule of law hence he resorts to the use of force through police and soldiers. The tactics being used by Mugabe are tactics of a man living on borrowed time.

“I have no doubt that Mugabe has introduced the state of emergency through the back door. These are the last kicks of a dying horse. The security forces which he is abusing are also crying for change. Zimbabweans have to remain steadfast to ensure the removal of Mugabe through constitutional means.

“It’s no longer time for personal clashes and egocentrism. We need to ensure that our energy is directed against democratic obstacles and in this instance the obstacle is Mugabe,” the spokesperson of Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) leader Joice Mujuru, Gift Nyandoro, said.

Politics and Governance expert, McDonald Lewanika, said Mugabe no longer had answers to people’s questions and was now, as a result, resorting to arresting dissenters.

“A state of emergency, more than an actual declaration is what constitutes what we have.

“The clamping down on dissent through mass arrests and the stopping of peaceful protests shows this effective state of emergency,” Lewanika told the Daily News.

“Unfortunately, because this is the default setting for Zanu PF, if the protests continue it is almost certain that more arrests and enforced disappearances will come.

“The opposition must understand that this is the way of the oppressor and thus put in place safety mechanisms for their supporters and activists,” he added.

Mugabe, who is in New York this week for the annual United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting, will have to contend with more demonstrations by Zimbabweans living in the United States, who are miffed by what their colleagues back home are going through.

Citing the pending introduction of bond notes and Mugabe’s reversal of key cost-cutting measures that were announced by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, analysts also say Zimbabweans should not expect the country’s economic problems to go away any time soon.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed to the Daily News yesterday by staff at Harare Central Hospital that an internal memo making rounds on social media and highlighting the severity of the situation in Zimbabwe’s public hospitals is legitimate.

“Due to the critical shortages of Pethidine, Injectable Morphine, Fentanyl, Adrenaline, Metochlopramide, Sodium Bicarbonate and antibiotics, it was decided after consultation with the Clinical Director, Heads of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Consultant Anaesthetists that we suspend all elective surgeries for the time being.

“We will concentrate on maternity, CEPOD Emergencies and ICU.

“This is to allow the hospital to restock on these essential items,” the memo sent by a Dr H Chifamba, reads.

Comments (8)

Mugabe still has the fill support of the military and Police behind him PLUS the unwavering support of SADC, many of whose leaders behave in the exact same fashion as Mugabe....so why should he now worry about a few protesters? Until such time as we hear a whole lot more clattering and banging from the Churches, human rights groups, international media ad pro democracy movements who literally force these useless brain dead SADC members to do something, nobody can expect an changes to take place.

Mbewa - 19 September 2016

Yet in the last three weeks Mugabe has gobbled over $15 million on his useless trips abroad with a surprisingly huge entourage!!!! Our neighbor next door, Jacob Zuma, who has a functioning economy compared to ours, traveled to New York in a scheduled South African Airways flight with a modest entourage. Its either we Zimbabweans are morons to allow this to continue, or the man leading us is an absolute moron the people are just watching from the sidelines to see how further he can sink in idiocy!!! This is pathetic to say the least, and the man has no shame!!!!

MR COOPER - 19 September 2016

ZANU does not care for the citizens Their leader is worse He gets treated in Singapore with his family He does not even trust south African hospitals They have a healthy Health system there He could save millions by going to SA He does not have much to lose anyway How did he manage to dupe people 36 yrs ago into voting for him and managed to hold on to power for so long We Zimbabweans are fools He wants to leave Zimbabwe as a rumble ruins and a worse gukurahundi People will die He endorsed use of violence because that's all he knows He cant engage with citizens because there are no solutions You would think at his age he wants to make peace with GOD for allowing the people of Zimbabwe to reach this state but he knows He is going straight to Gehenna There is no resurrection for such a cruel evil person

Naphiri Chisayi - 19 September 2016

The opposition parties, churches, institutions of learning and civil society have been used by the slave and colonial masters to undermine government efforts to economically empower Africans. It is prudent that sabotage by these formations should be stopped even if it means declaring a state of emergency to save this country from falling into the hands of white supremacists.

ADF - 20 September 2016

IDIOTS

SANGO - 20 September 2016

It is only a matter of time before there is a coup in Zimbabwe by the army. Then hukuyu!!

An ex White Zimbabwian - 20 September 2016

The President must stop abusing the millitary,the police& the intelligency community.They are not his own men&women,they belong to our nation,they are on our payroll.Itz us who pay them.Must only answer the people's question:what hez doing with our economy?Mugabe shld not beat people into submission when they want to vote him out &retire him,they know retiring himz part of their solution to their problems.The west are entitled to their own opinions&attitudes towards zimbabwe,they hav not n role here.Itz the people who want to retire the president.And Mugabe has bn sending military men&the police,the intelligent community&the youth milicia to prevent people fr excising their right

addmore gudo - 20 September 2016

we as zimbos, we are cowards we allow the gvt to ruin our lives, and now we will never live the dream lives because we had been robbed, but you hear some idiots supporting mugabe, shit!!! this is high time we unite and fight our enemy together as one,

the truth - 20 September 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.