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If you sow mischief, you harvest grief

by Staff reporter
11 Apr 2021 at 05:38hrs | Views
IN 2019, Zimbabwe experienced three days of darkness between January 14 and January 17.

It seemed looneys had broken from the asylum and set fire on the tinderbox.

Chaos and madness reigned supreme.

Fuel stations, business premises - large and small - and market stalls were set alight by rioters who were purportedly outraged by the sharp hike in fuel prices.

But there was something novel in the way the demonstrations panned out - it seemed they had been meticulously choreographed like a wedding dance routine.

Almost everywhere across the country, crazed youth brigades blocked roads using mountain-sized boulders, smouldering tyres, logs and any convenient obstacle they could lay their hands on.

Unfortunate motorists, most of who were desperate to escape the orgy of violence, were forced to pay up for the right of passage.

The State had to bare its sharp fangs to break the back of the lawless marauding gangs, but not before they had wreaked properties of those who were caught up in the melee.

In the aftermath of the madness, Treasury had to shell out $10 million to help hobbling businesses and enterprises restock and resume operations.

But there was something significant that was largely unremarked: Most of the miscreants - a good number of them unsurprisingly from the MDC-Alliance - were accounted for and are now well into their five- to seven-year jail sentences.

All in all, more than 400 mischief-makers were convicted and condemned in various jurisdictions across the country.

While the main choreographers who instigated, nurtured and fanned the violence were smart enough to stay away from the madding crowds, the unfortunate youthies who were used as blunt instruments of lawlessness are languishing as "guests" of the State. Kikikiki.

And while the fuel they were protesting for is now readily available, it seems the troublemakers themselves will not be available for some time. Kikikiki.

But Bishop Lazi would also want you to reflect on what happened in Hong Kong (a special administrative region of China) five months later, in June 2019, when what started as a demonstration against a proposed extradition law, which would have made it possible for fugitives to be transferred to mainland China to face justice, progressively morphed into a grand festival of graphic violence.

For months, even as authorities rescinded the ostensibly "offending law", the city was turned into a quasi war zone, as projectiles, "missiles" and tear smoke were traded between law enforcers and the daring rioters.

Obviously pumped and inspired by the international attention their actions were generating, the rioters decided to turn it up a notch through a pageant-style march on the city on August 18, 2019.

Although the police had banned the march, they blissfully went ahead with their triumphant parade regardless.

Just like the Harare riots, the Hong Kong activists also seemed to be meticulously choreographed.

Some daring demonstrators even rubbed it in the face of the authorities by waving the American flag and urging Washington to intervene.

Here in Harare, we know such kind of ominous mischief too well.

On July 11, 2018, we saw some MDC-Alliance members who marched to the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) headquarters proudly brandishing the stars and stripes of Uncle Sam.

For a sovereign country, it doesn't get as disrespectful and insulting as this.

Naughty Elderly Men

But, just as in Zimbabwe, the chickens are also coming home to roost in Hong Kong.

The organisers of the August 2019 pageant of defiance, who include 82-year-old London-trained lawyer Martin Lee and 72-year-old tycoon Jimmy Lai, have since been arrested.

In fact, they were actually convicted on April 1.

By any accounts, this was far from an April Fool's joke.

The duo, including a coterie of their enablers, will be sentenced on Friday this week.

It does not look promising for these naughty elderly man, who face the real prospect of doddering their way to prison.

However, there is always an eerie and disturbing pattern of events when these troublemakers and rabble-rousers are brought to justice.

Despite the obligatory shrill protestations from global media houses fronting Western propaganda and interests, the trials are almost always attended by envoys from Western countries - a pattern we know all too well in Zimbabwe.

Not surprisingly, the Hong Kong trials were religiously attended by diplomats from the European Union, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Your guess is as good as Bishop Lazi's as to why they chose to do this, but whatever the reason behind this stunt, it doesn't seem to change anything.

In most cases, there is always some inexplicable liaisons between US actors and the mischief-makers.

In Hong Kong, Martin Lee actually went as far as appearing before the US congress in May 2019 to invite it to intervene and support their cause, while Jimmy Lai was similarly consorting and hobnobbing with US officials.

He actually met ex-Vice President Mike Pence, US former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

To make matters worse, his aide, Mark Simon, is a veteran of the US Navy, who is suspected to be an American spy.

But the law is the law.

Blessed are those who live within the law and according to the law.

Romans 13:3-7 succinctly makes this point clear: "Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.

"They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

"This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour."

This applies everywhere, even in Britain, which adopted a constitutional monarchy as far back as 1688.

You might have heard about the contentious Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that is being proposed – it is precisely meant to deal with mischief.


It is a painful lesson that is now being learnt by MDC-Alliance's Makomborero Haruzivishe, who was recently handed an effective 14-month prison sentence on Tuesday for inciting violence.

It is not going to be easy for the young lad.

There is a reason why they call it "doing time".

Behind those high walls, time moves ever too slowly like a sloth.

You can even hear every imaginary sonorous tick of the clock's hour-hand and minute-hand in your head.

Job Sikhala was right last week when he said: "It is only those who don't know the pain of the prison dungeon who joke with such an issue."

Although the young man, with tail now neatly tugged between his legs, might be slowly coming to terms with the gravity of his situation, what could be most dispiriting and deflating for him would probably be the ignominy or sinking feeling of learning that while the dutiful Karma was visiting him, some of his political leaders were seized with much more weightier matters in Bvukururu, Zaka. Kikikiki.

Remember, these are the same leaders who condemned their supporters who were responsible for the deadly riots on August 1, 2018 by calling them "stupid".

You might have thought the Bishop was bluffing when he said Chamisa must sleep with his eye open because some opposition forces, who think that they are macho enough to push their cause, are slowly mobilising against him.

The charge sheet against his "ineffectual leadership" is growing longer with each passing day.

But honestly, when will these cashvists, sorry activists, learn the futility of militancy in local political engagement?

So, they haven't learnt from the history of this ill-fated strategy since the days of Learnmore Jongwe, Solomon and Paul Madzore, and, most recently, the Vanguard?

This is quite a long and rich history to learn from.

Even much more informative and instructive are lessons of the evolution of Zimbabwe as a Republic, which culminated in the epochal Independence that we celebrate on Sunday.

As the Bishop said before, the streets will never be an arbiter of local politics.

The young ones in the opposition who are unfortunately being used as dispensable fodder by their damned leaders should learn that if you sow mischief, you are most likely to reap grief.

Bishop out!

Source - sundaymail

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