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Mnangagwa's rise to democracy so weak

23 Nov 2019 at 07:17hrs | Views
The latest events this week have cast a dark cloud on the future of the country, showing signs and symptoms of the dearth of democracy.

Our government has again scored an own goal and caught at the wrong side of the law by grossly abusing the human rights after failing to adhere to the constitutional mandate of allowing people to democratically and peacefully gather to participate in whatever business.

Zimbabwe under the tutelage of President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is slowly sliding deep into the repressive, dictatorship of the late former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe who used to apply force to dissenting voices.

During Mugabe's era very few demonstrations were approved by police and when approved people would face a bash from an overzealous provocative police force.

Sometimes the organisation would always raise a manpower problem and would not cover such demonstrations or rallies. Surprisingly manpower would be readily available whenever Zanu PF was holding its rallies or go for one million march. Selectively application of the law.

The police brutality has come part and parcel of the news in commuter omnibus, shopping centres and beerhalls have been characterised by police brutality and indiscrimately beating of innocent civilians who were going about their business in the city centre. They were not either armed with any kind of lethal weapons or knobkerries.

Zimbabwe for years has been going through a harsh economic and political environment. The government's months long of legitimacy crisis starting from when Mugabe was still in power has been carried over to this new dispensation.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has also inherited the same pot of crisis which if we were talking about football would be called a very tough group of death where team's would sweat in order to win the match.

People from all walks of life, the churches, civic societies, members of the incumbent ruling party including the opposition celebrated the toppling of the late President Robert Mugabe and everyone saw a ray of hope hovering over the nation of a new era.

Few months later after the disputed 2018 election,  all hope has been wiped out. The trust the people had of the ability of  2017 November coup just vanished in thin air.

On 1 August 2018 true colours of the repressive regime under the new face  deployed the army and about 12 people were shot dead after they were demonstrating about the delay to announce the relevant of election results. Several number of people were wounded and hospitalised.

The people's high spirit of a new government  quickly evaporated and business started spiralling downwards posing an economic crisis. Inflation shoot up until the government suspended year to year inflation reports.

The hype of signed mega deals where President Mnangagwa travelled from one country to another were just on paper and nothing was coming up on the ground.

The Herald with its propaganda stories kept the people glued to the faith and giving them a false pretence that the new dispensation would keep to its promises but that was a far fetched idea. The social and private media however exposed the government lack of commitment to true economic transformation of the country.

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa saw that his ascendancy to power was marred with some fissures he proposed to come up with the idea of POLAD. That was a group of political parties who have participated in the 2018 harmonised elections to come together and map a way forward. The mistake he did was calling the gathering and anointing himself as the convener. He became the referee,  the assistant referee and the match commissioner.

POLAD was way of legitimising his presidency and pave way for a political dialogue but it proved to be a still birth and ill timed idea as it did not get much support from the people and civil organisations. The main opposition political party Movement for Democratic Change -Alliance which garnered about 2.6 million votes did not participate in the POLAD.

Myriad of challenges continued to doggy this new dispensstion. On corruption, the Mnangagwa's new government promised to punish severely government officials who were found at the wrong side of corruption but alas it was a catch and release game.

The scourge of corruotion is still endemic in his government and the Anti Corruption Commission teeth are falling off before even arresting and prosecuting anyone. The Zimbabweans were sold a dummy.

With Mugabe gone life of ordinary Zimbabweans has become worse under the new dispensation with austerity measures introduced by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube biting deep.

During Mugabe's body viewing at Rufaro Stadium staunch supporters of the revolutionary party were singing that Mugabe left a loaf of bread pegged at $1 and now it is beyond their reach. Life has hard for people.

This week's events have fully tested this new dispensation's test of democracy. The  introduction of MOPA which has replaced AIPPA ha's been tested on Thursday where the Movement of Democratic Change - Alliance leader addressed a mourning crowd which has been harassed and beaten by police. In fact it was the police which started beatin up Movement of Democratic Change supporters who had come to hear what their leader Nelson Chamisa called Hope of the Nation Address at Harvest House.

There is need to reduce or completely remove the viral load of our police brutality. Our police force needs to go for other refresher courses and learn how to disperse a small crowd without causing injuries.


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Source - Leonard Koni
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