Latest News Editor's Choice


Opinion / Columnist

MDC-A abducted three; Iron fists in velvet gloves

15 May 2020 at 15:30hrs | Views
To start with, politics is littered with life- threatening dangers. In fact it is a minefield in which winners take all and losers get grumpy. History shows there has never been fair competition.

Outrageous accusations and counter accusations are the lifeblood of political leadership the world over.

As for Zimbabwe, abductions are a danger that top the list. Political actors both in the governing party Zanu PF and those in the main opposition trenches the, MDC Alliance are cocksure one can be killed or maimed for a song.

It is as if a seperate universe of goons and assassins is ever ready for whoever bids the highest.

The idea has been buttressed by Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, the maverick and flamboyant Energy Mutodi in a twitter war with colleagues in government.

He has been at loggerheads with outspoken former war veterans minister Chris Mutsvangwa.

Mutodi accused him of capturing the ministry of information by proxy through his wife Monica, who is Mutodi's senior. The matter could have been handled internally though but typical of him, Mutodi chose to wash dirty linen in public.

He clashed with Foreign Affairs minister SB Moyo over remarks he made concerning Tanzania's response to the raging coronavirus.

Juxtaposing Zimbabwe's response against the Tanzanians. It appeared he was belittlling fellow Africans at the same time extolling Munangagwa for fighting a virus noone had control of.

Moyo, an erstwhile foreign affairs minister and soldier- cum coup announcer in a military- assisted coup that toppled longtime ruler Robert Mugabe responded by writing to the Tanzanian Ambassador clarifying Mutodi's sentiments were not the position of the Zimbabwean government.

 The move is largely seen as a punch below the belt in toning down Mutodi's conduct. Moyo is in the trenches. He knows what it takes to firefight tensions on the diplomatic front seat, a fact Mutodi seems to be oblivious to.

The deputy Information minister is wantonly prolific with tweets and steps on many toes. He constantly draws ridicule and acebic responses on his timeline.

This time and in this war, Mutodi asked for prayers from the public fearing for his life.

" Living in fear of Chris Mutsvangwa-SB Moyo coalition. I hope it won't resort to wartime tactics. Appealing for prayers," Mutodi wrote

Could that have been grandstanding? Could it just be workplace politics gone awry?

I think that communicates a lot from a top government official. It is a tacit admission killers roam free at their masters beckoning.

This day, Zimbabwe' s political road has witnessed another sad chapter that even the Mutodis in all their new-found glory are scared of- abductions and even dissapearances.

Three female MDC Alliance activists who were missing a day after taking part in a protest over food shortages were found ' badly beaten and ' tortured' on Thursday night.

The trio who are literally iron fists in velvet gloves are Netsai Marova, Cecilia Chimbiri and Harare West MP Joana Mamombe who have since been taken to a private hospital in Harare.

Pictures showed them in bad shape with Mamombe and Marova reported to be having difficulties walking.

The three were arrested at a police checkpoint after taking part in a "flash demonstration" in the suburb of Warren Park in Harare on Wednesday.

That political show coming from women is a significant pot-shot on President Munangagwa. A needle can overcome a Chief. People are hungry and there is a restlessness across the country.

Police initially confirmed their arrest, but later recanted, saying the three were not in their custody.

Reports suggest they were beatean up in a pit by unknown assailants and forced to eat human waste.

It is against such a backdrop of torture and forced dissapearances that Zimbabwe prides it's as 'open for business'

The so called ' New Dispensation' and ' New Republic' are pie in the sky.

President Munangagwa has been battling toothache and nail telling all that Zimbabwe has moved from Mugabe's years of a mottled human rights record.

Sadly, it's turning out to be blue lies. The women showed off their strength and it ignited a battle.

It is a futile attempt by the government to silence dissent. For as long as President Munangangwa continues to flip- flop blaming opposition parties and imaginary 'third forces' for abductions and torture, the country's political and economic narrative is headed for a cul-desac with hardly no gateway.

History is replete with political abductions. There was Addison Sithole whose cadaver remains an enigma. Tonderai Ndiraya was found decomposing in a shallow grave. Itai Dzamara haunts the spirit of the nation to date with little answers coming forth from authorities- how can a man dissappear completely from the radar after simply visiting a barbershop.

Significant too was the abduction of Dr Peter Magombeyi who stood up for the welfare of fellow doctors. He was later found dumped and disoriented about 40 kilometres away from Harare. Magombeyi later received medical care in South Africa fearing for his life after suspecting food poisoning.

There was the case of Jestina Mukoko, who suffered much at the hands of government being denied medical care. And worse still, government operatives frothed at the mouth denying wrongdoing.

There have been numerous cases across the country with people abducted in the middle of the night buy armed men to unknown destinations.

Freedom of association and the ability to show dissent in a peaceful manner should be very dear in the heart of Zimbabweans. Government silence and diversion tactics are condescending on the conscience of the people.

President Munangagwa would not savour a history in which his subjects lived in fear. A people who went to bed daily under lock and key afraid of goons in the middle of the night visiting them for being Zimbabweans with a right to voice the way they are governed.

Tolerance is a key driver in the progress of the nation and for as long a group of people feel entitled to the feeding troughs and them alone feel they can decide on the fate of the rest of us, we remain restless. We continue challenging authority.

The case of MDC three, notably because they are women should be a clarion call to any Presidency worth its salt. Only last week, the world celebrated women as mothers- champions of our society.

In a way we can draw lessons on how other progressive societies perceive and handle women. The sight of dishevelled women with breasts protruding after a shock attack in the middle of the night miles from home is self evident we have a beast in our midst.

Torture and abductions have no place in contemporary society and it is time the rulers have to face that reality.

President Munangagwa should once again step out in the open lest the story of abductions continue being an albatross around his neck.

He might think we only see the scarf he parades everywhere but the total observance of human rights squarely rests on his shoulders too. Abductions and torture of women will be an enduring footnote on his legacy.

Josiah Mucharowana writes in his personal capacity. Feedback; joemasvokisi@gmail.com



Source - Josiah Mucharowana
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Subscribe

Email: