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'Who will guard the guards themselves?' - without the rule of law, no one; hence our mess

02 Feb 2019 at 07:57hrs | Views
All who blame the barbarism of the Police and Army of the last two weeks on the stay-away organisers, the street protesters and/or looters have missed the point completely. The point being that Zimbabwe is NOT a healthy and functional democracy in which the Police and Army are limited to the usual duties of maintaining the rule of law and protecting the people.

"The challenge with the current situation is that the organisers of the protests failed to be smart in their risk analysis," said Church and Civic Society Joint Forum chairman Anglistone Sibanda.

"They were sacrificing ordinary, angry and frustrated masses hoping to achieve some normative leverage and international sympathy from Sadc and AU forgetting that those institutions have always been about brotherhood. By getting violent, looting, burning cars, killing police officers, they lost the plot and fell into a trap. The government got something to justify its actions before these brotherhood institutions."

Sibanda is just a confused person who has himself fallen into the Zanu PF's trap.

It is not beyond Zanu PF to have deployed its own agent provocateurs encourage the street violence and looting to justify the state violence that followed. How many times did we see the white farm invasions flare up again and again during national elections, for example? The violence would then spread to engulf urban and rural areas where opposition members and supporters would be harassed, beaten, etc. under the pretext they supported the white farmers and would give back the seized farms if they won the elections.

But even if we accepted that there was not even one Zanu PF agent behind any of the looting and lawlessness and the Police and the Army were deployed for the sole purpose of restoring law and order and had no political agenda. Still one has to question why it was necessary for them to use so much violence. Why were the security officers beating and kicking someone who is already grovelling in the dirty or is handcuffed?
Why did the Police and Army raid people's homes in the dead of night and beat up all the male occupants? If the authorities had evidence of wrong doing they should have just arrested the criminals and left the law take its course and not be the arresting officer, the judge and executioner all rolled into one.

Of course, the Police and Army had a political agenda beyond their call of duty to maintain law and order - their mission was to send a clear message to all but especially to Zanu PF's political opponents and critics that the party will stop at nothing including turning State Police and Army themselves into lawless thugs in its effort to silence all dissent against it continued rule!

It is bad enough that one should ever find themselves a victim of an criminal activity. Still, there is some comfort in the knowledge the criminal will be arrested and brought before a court of law so the victim get redress and justice. There is panic and despair when those entrusted with the powers to arrest, prosecute and punish are the criminals and so commit their heinous crimes with total impunity.
Many women and girls were raped during the ten days or so of Police and Army blitz. To whom were these women and girls supposed to report the crime and have any confidence there will be justice!

Society has already granted the Police, Army, etc. super-duper powers such as the power to arrest and to use weapons and therefore it is folly to they should ever be allowed to abuse their powers and act above the law.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?) asked the Roman poet Juvenal, born 50 AD.
The Romans and all civilised nations before and after Juvenal's time, have all answered this rhetorical question comprehensively – it is rule of law that will guard society against the guardians becoming corrupt. No one, absolutely no one, will be above law.

In Zimbabwe, the Police, Army, CIO, judiciary, ZEC, etc.; they are all Zanu PF departments in all but name and named by corrupt party proxies all committed to the no regime change mantra. There was no way Zanu PF could enjoy absolute power and still up hold the people's freedoms and rights and the rule of law and so these have been jettisoned a long time ago.
The barbarism by the Police and Army of the last two weeks had to do with maintaining the rule of law but everything to do with everything to do with re-enforcing the Zanu PF's no regime change agenda. The party's blatantly rigging of last year's July elections, its issuing of the "shoot to kill!" orders to stop the 1 st August protests and many, many other acts of lawlessness including the Gukurahundi massacre; they all saved the same purpose of retaining Zanu PF's iron grip on power at all cost.
Zimbabwe is stuck in this hell-on-earth because the nation is ruled by thugs who have contempt for the people's freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections and even the right to life. Zanu PF rigged last July's elections, the regime is illegitimate and must step down.

The real tragedy is that even now, with the benefit of 38 years of corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF rule and the nation on the brink of total collapse, there are people who still refuse to admit lawlessness is our biggest problem. This is a problem identified at the very dawn of human civilization and we still fail to see.

Zanu PF has entrapped this nation into this corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship for its own selfish political gains. "Street protesters lost the plot and fell into a trap!" How naive!

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