Mugabe: Architect of rights violations

HARARE - That all nominees for this year’s ZimRights sponsored People’s Choice Award for defenders of human rights in the country are anti-President Robert Mugabe activists give credence to the widely held view that the nonagenarian is the architect of rights violations in Zimbabwe.

From opposition MDC legislator Jessie Majome to exiled #ThisFlag pastor Evan Mawarire, Patson Dzamara and Linda Masarira, among others, all of them have at one point been victims of Mugabe’s iron-fisted reaction to those who are opposed to him and his Zanu PF party.

While officially Zimbabwe remains a parliamentary democracy, in reality Mugabe presides over the country as a tyrant in the classical sense of the word.

Like an enlightened despot — Mugabe — at the beginning of his reign in the 1980s, made subtle attempts at embracing rationality appearing to foster education and allowed religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and the right to hold private property.

Although Mugabe has continued to stage regular elections in order to maintain a veneer of international legitimacy, the polls have often been marred by violence.

The 92-year-old remains an autocrat who rules exclusively for his own gratification, with contempt for the common good.

Dzamara’s case is one that lays bare the nonagenarian’s unparalleled dislike of dissenting voices when he, along with others were on Tuesday tortured and left for dead by suspected State security agents as they planned to demonstrate against the deteriorating economic and political situation in the country.

Over one-and-a-half years ago, Dzamara’s brother was abducted, again by suspected State security agents, in broad daylight and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Mugabe’s hand in the blatant abuse of human rights is also evident in the way his government has, over the years and probably more ruthlessly this year, been thwarting attempts by citizens to express their constitutional right to demonstrate. 

In the wake of the recent wave of anti-government protests in the country, Mugabe lately threatened judges who have been ruling in favour of citizen and opposition party applications to hold demonstrations while the police chief, Augustine Chihuri, warned protesters against further demonstrations.

Police have repeatedly opposed applications to demonstrate peacefully and have on innumerable occasions banned protests in Harare.

The first ban was overturned at the High Court while the second one extended till mid-October.

In his bid to silence dissenting voices Mugabe’s government using its “ill-gotten” two thirds majority in Parliament has managed to craft protective pieces of legislation that also restrict speech, including the Public Order and Security Act.

In doing all this, his message to Zimbabweans cannot be clearer: Put up and shut up, or else.

Comments (2)

just wait till the bond note becomes worthless and inflation kicks in! demos every day!

Young Zimbo - 25 November 2016

When the meltdown sets in, no-one will ask you to demonstrate, it will be automatic. Policemen will no longer get bribes, the business moguls will be turned to something else, the working class will have no work and join the "common" vendor class. I will be interested in observing the activities of the vociferous mugabe zealots in Zanu PF wherever they hail from on earth. There will be no food in the shops or streets, looting will be the order of the day.

Sharia - 25 November 2016

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