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Zimbabwe experiencing tyrannical peace

by Staff reporter
26 Sep 2023 at 06:23hrs | Views
A recent report has unveiled that a significant portion of Zimbabweans find themselves ensnared in a state of what can be described as "tyrannical peace" – a facade of non-violent order upheld through fear, the suppression of dissent, and controlling access to vital resources.

In a document titled "A Perpetual State of Insecurity in Zimbabwe," the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) asserts that the ruling Zanu-PF government has effectively employed this strategy to extend its grip on power.

The report highlights that the focus has primarily centered on threats to individual safety and tranquility stemming from the misuse of the criminal justice system, particularly evident through cases of malicious arrests and prosecutions. However, beneath these overt and conspicuous acts of violence against citizens, there exists a more subtle form of structural violence that permeates all aspects of life in Zimbabwe.

ZimRights underscores that the insecurity experienced by many street vendors and informal traders is not solely a result of lacking vending licenses but also due to the politicization of the spaces and stalls where they conduct their business.

Poverty emerges as another form of violence affecting Zimbabweans, leading to insecurity because individuals and communities living in poverty are more susceptible to coercion through basic necessities such as food and clothing.

This poverty extends beyond mere financial hardship to encompass various forms of deprivation, including homelessness, poor health, malnutrition, inadequate access to clean water and electricity, substandard employment conditions, and limited educational opportunities. These disparities disproportionately affect those living in poverty, constituting a form of structural violence. Autocratic governments often derive benefits from poverty, and in turn, repressive regimes perpetuate conditions of poverty.

ZimRights also notes that youth in Zimbabwe often find themselves vulnerable to manipulation and abuse due to high unemployment rates. Before politically-motivated violence erupts in the country, youth are sometimes enticed with small sums of money, food, and alcohol to engage in attacks on behalf of political elites. Consequently, the prevalence of unemployment among Zimbabwean youth poses a threat to peace and security.

In summary, "tyrannical peace" in Zimbabwe is portrayed as a veneer of tranquility maintained through various means, including the suppression of dissent, control of resources, and exploitation of vulnerabilities among the populace.

Source - newsday
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