by Kingstone Jambawo
We knew when the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) was bulldozed through Parliament that all hell had broken loose. The legislation was prompted by the fear on Zanu PF’s part that the people of this land would one day get fed up with the mess visited upon us by President Mugabe’s regime. People in ruling party circles smelt blood and envisioned an end to their hegemony, and as they were not prepared to democratically cede power, they knew that if the people were deprived of their democratic rights, they would have no option but to use the avenue of violence to extricate themselves from the quagmire they were enmeshed in. In short the tyrannical regime sensed an impending, imminent and inevitable mass uprising by the people of this land. Through the unfolding of history our leaders know that if the Indonesian spirit grips us all, we are too powerful for any sophisticated armoury. This then pushed them to put up defensive structures and legislation that would criminalise any form of collective action by our long-suffering nation. For the record, governments become repressive whenever they realise that their policies and actions, as the managers of national resources and wealth, have become moribund and obsolete. Even at family level when a father who is usually autocratic is
outwitted by his son on certain fundamental familial issues, he usually resorts to the language of threats and violence to silence the defenceless son. This is the case with those who occupy top offices in our government today. Having realised that there is neither miracle nor Herculian power that could help them restore the nation to sanity, they chose to be arrogant and autocratic. The government ran short of ideas on how they could fill petrol pumps, despite knowing how sadza could remain the staple food in our country, and above all, they could not find a friend genuine enough to lend a helping hand.
Muammar Gaddaffi was tried and he jettisoned his fellow Pan-Africans, presumably because Mugabe failed to accord him due honour and recognition, such as naming the tallest building in Harare after him or calling First Street, Gaddafi Street. As for Mbeki, his is only moral, not material, support. Thus for him the whole world is irrelevant. He chose to become a political hermit, who can only give land and bequeath poverty to his people. He enclosed himself in a political hot balloon making it hard to respire. According to African tradition, we value our neighbours and friends because they are the very people who uplift us if we slip. Not so with our Dear Leader. He does his things all alone the puritanical hermit of Africa. This attitude has cultivated and irrigated his arrogance to and hatred of the whole human race, including his very
own people. Because of his outlook he has ignored the basic rights, such as freedoms of association and speech, declaring that you can only speak if you speak positively about the leadership, because it is incorruptible.
You cannot associate unless your group is sanctioned as friendly to the State. This is the basis upon which POSA and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) were devised. It was a case of a state that was overtaken by fear of the unknown. They were seeing shadows of people chanting anti-Mugabe slogans. This was a dream that terrified them so much that they believed it would soon be a reality. Then POSA was created, followed by AIPPA, much to the chagrin of those who still have illusions of our nation ever enjoying democracy. Who cares even if you whine relentlessly? With these two pieces of legislation the State thinks that it has fortified the throne because anyone who does anything that doesn’t fall
within its definition of patriotism could be legally incarcerated..Ian Smith did the same thing to our freedom fighters, Mugabe included, in their drive to remove colonialism. So under Smith the Mugabes, the Chitepos and all the others faced detention without proper trial. Little did we know that our Dear Leader envied the power and supremacy that was wielded by Smith.
Never did we imagine that Mugabe’s enthusiastic fight against colonialism was actually hinged on how much he would love to don the same robes left behind by Smith. Or could it be that Mugabe wants to exact vengeance for the detentions he suffered? Unfortunately, now his revenge is against those whose umbilical code was interred in the same soil as his. The more we are reminded of the war era, the more we visualize the wishes of the people during the anti-colonialist era. Of all else, we realise that people fought for freedom freedom to talk, to interact, to laugh, to create wealth, as in owning the much-vaunted land and above all, freedom to choose our leadership.
So go on and rumble about First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Chimurengas, as this would give the people further resolve to fight for the freedom they once fought for against the colonialists.The ZBC should continue celebrating whenever the police quash a demonstration by the troubled people of our land. This would strengthen and fortify our resolve to fight. You can suppress the truth for a long time, but never for eternity. If people march in demand of a new constitution, or in solidarity with their mayor it is criminal, but if a group of daft people make noise in front of The Daily News offices, it is patriotic.
What I know is that all dictatorships end in shameful failure. The pot is simmering and very soon it shall be ready for them to eat from. People dread POSA, but will not remain afraid of it. Similarly, they are afraid of Mugabe’s thirst and affinity for war, but will never remain thus. Smith was equally vicious and brutal, but what happened to him? The fear inculcated in the people by our Dear Leader shall soon vanish and the real nature of Zimbabweans shall be unveiled.
Mr Mugabe, carry on with your tomfoolery at your own peril. It’s a matter of time.
Kingtone Jambawo is a UK based human rights activist ,he has vast study interests in political behaviour, sanctions and democratization. He writes here in his personal capacity