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Democracy dies in darkness

25 Oct 2020 at 07:30hrs | Views
Democracy is facing tough time in Zimbabwe,it is wilting, suffocating and profusely bleeding.

Infact it's wasting away- dying in full view of a public that couldn't care less.A public that is power sapped and tired.

French philosopher Montesquieu wrote in 1748: "The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy."

This indeed applies to present day Zimbabwe.

We are seeing his warning vindicated.

President Mnangagwa's government to is increasingly acting as a tyrannical (and erratic) prince.

Sadly much of the public is so inured to his misconduct that his latest assaults on the rule of law are met with a collective shrug. Maybe we are what Desmond Tutu said " if you choose to be neutral in times of oppression you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

Public passivity is Mnangagwa secret weapon as he pursues his authoritarian agenda. "we are the army, the courts,the government we can do whatever we want we are everything," he once said, and the lack of pushback seems to confirm it.

So much bad has happened since Mnangagwa took leadership it seems that it's hard to keep it all straight.

Mnangagwa fired Killer Zivhu who was a legislator for Chivi South constituency for daring him to get MDC Alliance to the table as opposed to Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD).

This sends a mob-like message: If you turn stool pigeon, your family gets it, too.

Mnangagwa has been lethargic on issues to do with corruption. Serious cases like the Covidgate scandal where companies like Drax International and Jaji needs his keen attention. The NSSA cases involving a top chef, the Gwanda solar project to mention a but few. While those implicated enjoy their rights the state has been punishing those who dared to tell the truth like Hopewell Chin'ono,Mduduzi Mathuthu,Job Sikhala, Jacob Ngarivhume and many more. It seems, Mnangagwa is protecting those who assist his coverup.

And the story of Gweru Prosecutor Namatai Chipere. Is the media doing justice to expose the rot this prosecutor did. Soiling the system and shamelessly walking away. If the people don't ask questions about it,if the media don't investigate further the system will slide into a new normal and we would have allowed it to.

The case of Chipere is one of the so many cases where public office bearers who are supposed to act apolitical decided not to. Sometimes flaunt their political opinion and use it against perceived opponents or to prop up their own.

Where are the people?

Zanu PF members, as usual, either have nothing to say or offer ineffectual expressions of "concern." They don't have a voice to counteract or to call their deploys to account. They are accomplices,or don't have a voice,or can't see anything bad,or don't have a platform.

And the public? I don't see massive marches in the streets. Marching is banned.

I don't see people flooding their members of Parliament with calls and emails. Legislators are victims of whipping system. They stand for the party and not the electorate. So in cases where the electorate indicates right and the party indicates left the representative will choose the later to save his life in the August house.

Even if there's constitutional guaranteed rights to protest we see less outrage that is warranted - and necessary against the state. What we see is passivity, resignation and acquiescence from a distracted electorate that has come to accept the Second Republic's aberrant behavior as the norm.

Any rating can obviously come out with negative points for the second republic.

The support in the country as a whole is falling,fence sitters for now know clearly where and when to fall, but in that uninspiring situation the second republic is said to be still well positioned to win reelection, because most people seem to care a lot more about the strength of their dealings more than about the strength of our democracy.

We are stewards and cheerleaders of the democratic backsliding, democratic erosion and de-democratization. We are aiding the gradual decline in the quality of democracy.

This decline is caused by us not doing enough against the state-led weakening of political institutions that sustain the democratic systems.

This is how democracies die - not in darkness but in full view of a people that care less.

Feedback: masarataru1@gmail.com.

Source - Taruberekera Masara in Pretoria
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