Zanu PF must accept dissenting voices

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF-led government have to accommodate dissenting voices.

On Friday, we reported that organisers of the demonstration planned for that day were abducted and tortured by suspected State security agents.

This is scary, given that the assailants fired a volley of live ammunition.

On the same night, armed soldiers reportedly ran amok in Harare’s high density suburbs of Glen Norah B and Kuwadzana, ransacked nightclubs, indiscriminately beating up and injuring revellers.

These ills are taking place in Zimbabwe, a country whose leader routinely claims to be democratic.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees freedom of expression and association as well as other civil liberties that include the right to demonstrate. What happened to Patson Dzamara — brother to missing journalist-turned-activist Itai — Ishmael Kauzani, Nathan Matadza and Nashe Salami on Thursday night was uncalled for.

If the regime has no skeletons in the closet, why is it afraid of its own people? Democracy has always been premised on diversity and open-mindedness. If people are not allowed to voice their concerns on the way things are going, why should they be beaten up?

In the past two months, the country witnessed a spate of demonstrations — mainly led by civilian groups — all of which the State ruthlessly crushed.

Police heavy-handedness in handling these demonstrations showed the determination of the Mugabe regime to cling on to power at all costs, despite the clear failure of most of its policies.

Since retaining power following the controversial July 2013 elections, the Zanu PF government has done very little, if anything, to deliver on the promises made to the electorate in the run-up to the polls.

Zanu PF promised to create 2,2 million new jobs but to date nothing has materialised. Instead, the economy has bled continuously, leading to the closure of hundreds of companies, rendering thousands of people jobless. Re-engagement efforts with the West have not succeeded owing to the country’s poor human rights record with failure to respect property rights, the rule of law, police brutality, abductions and forced disappearances ranking high among the complaints against the Mugabe-led Zanu PF government.

Mugabe and his hangers-on have no time for self-introspection and this explains why they have not been able to prioritise correcting their policy shortcomings over the years. They have continued to lead the country astray.

People are fed up of the goings-on. There are no jobs, the economy has continued to decline with biting cash shortages the order of the day. The abduction, torture and intimidation of innocent Zimbabweans will not sanitise the country’s image.

Comments (1)

It seems hopeless. A whole country suffering because of one man and his cheerleaders.

Young Zimbo - 22 November 2016

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