Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Decoding Zanu-PF's pillars of power

04 Jul 2016 at 06:55hrs | Views
Zimbabweans boast a high literacy rate and have studied history, geography, maths, physics and a lot of other important subjects. If you have never studied political science, here is one important lesson that you have missed:

ZANU has various pillars of support that can be identified. These include :

1. War veterans
2.The financial and economic sector
3. The media
4. The police
5. The army
6. The central intelligence organisation
7. The Judiciary

I view these as the top seven pillars of support that ZANU has. The war veterans pillar has essentially collapsed. The financial pillar also essentially collapsed. The media pillar is not as strong as it was before the advent of the internet and social media as there is no longer a monopoly on media.

The police, and the army  will now be the focus of my attention. Each of these can be roughly divided into two; the officers or generals and the foot soldiers. The officers and generals will be the subject of discussion on another day.

The police foot soldiers are those who perform the dirty work of beating up the civilians and keeping them in line. Because of this, it makes a lot of sense to deploy them away from their own hometowns as this reduces the likelihood of footsoldiers refusing to beat up their own biological brother, sister , mother or father if that situation ever arises. Yes these footsoldiers are not mercenaries from a far away land but they are our own kith and kin. Yes, they do have feelings too but see this as just a job that helps them to put food on the table. What they may not have realized is that the government has a pecking order for who gets paid first. The pensioners, the education people and the health people are being sacrificed at present. Currently there is no foreseeable solution to the government's cash crisis so in a month or so, it is likely that the police will be sacrificed and not receive their salaries. How will they respond then? Will they take to the streets themselves and then the soldiers (because they are still being paid) will be sent to go after them? Will they regret why they agreed to beat up the civilians who were actual trying to make things right? We may find out the answers to these questions soon.

In my village, I once heard that majority of the foot soldiers from the Fifth Brigade who did the actually mass killing are now mad. This is likely village speak for "have severe post-traumatic stress disorder".  You cannot kill a lot of innocent people and remain normal. The best indicator of future behaviour for ZANU is its past behaviour. In the past, ZANU has resolved issues by ordering people to be killed and that is likely to happen again in the future. If the foot soldiers in the army are asked to open fire on their own mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters on the streets, how will they respond? Will they let the system make them kill their relatives for the price of a few hundred dollars at the end of each month? Will they do what the Egyptian army did at Tahrir Square in 2011 and refuse to carry out the order to open fire on their own countrymen? We may find out the answer to these questions soon.

Similar questions may be posed to our brothers and sisters in the CIO and in the judiciary. They are after all truly our biological brothers and sisters. Do any of them really feel good about seeing the suffering on the street and feel proud that they are the footsoldiers who are ensuring that things stay this way for the common man? How long will they let themselves be used by ZANU?

All of these are personal questions that the involved people have to answer for themselves individually.

I will sign-off by sharing an interesting quotation that I came across.

"By themselves, rulers cannot collect taxes, enforce repressive laws and regulations, keep trains running, prepare national budgets, direct traffic, manage ports, print money, repair roads, keep markets supplied with food, make steel, build rockets, train the police and army, issue postage stamps or even milk a cow. People provide these services to the ruler through a variety of organizations and institutions. If people would stop providing these skills, the ruler could not rule." Gene Sharp

Source - Mlungisi Moyo
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.
More on: #Zanu-PF, #Mugabe, #Army