AIPPA protects coup plotters


'Even Mugabe has no access t

o information’

HARARE – To many Zimbabweans, reports of military groups calling for the violent overthrow of Mugabe provide a glimmer of hope that their suffering will soon end. The claims also arouse great concern that such action may plunge the country into a civil war.

Skeptics, however, view the militant claims with suspicion, largely because of the scanty information about them.

From the trickle of information coming out of Zimbabwe, the independent press has gleaned that the militant groups are believed to have reached advanced planning stages and could carry out a coup to remove Mugabe at any moment.

Since the claims emanate from inside the country, independent journalists, most of whom have fled the country, may not be able to penetrate the iron curtain provided by the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), to reach such networks and dig out the information, which is of great interest to the public, and also to Mugabe himself. The draconian AIPPA, which Professor Moyo should have called NAIPA (No Access to Information and Privacy Act) muzzles the press so much that the country is now in virtual darkness.

Independent journalists may therefore not be able to locate the leaders of the Zimbabwe Patriotic Resistance Forum (ZPRF) or the Patriotic Military Front (PMF), especially because they are believed to be right inside Mugabe’s government. The militants also make a great effort to remain secret, and almost certainly enjoy a great amount of cover that even the CIO may not be able to uncover early enough to save Mugabe.

The burden therefore remains on the shoulders of the state media, who are exempted from the clutches of AIPPA. The state journalists have been entrusted with the duty of informing the nation on matters of great interest, just like these claims that some people are planning a violent removal of Mad Bob. This is a crucial moment when the government that employs them is in great need of vital information, and it would be an immense disservice to their bosses if they do not do the work.

The basic information they need is already on the table. The people who are plotting to overthrow the government that pays them are believed to be in the CIO, the Zimbabwe National Army, the Zimbabwe Military Police, the Zimbabwe Republic Police. They include retired ex-army chiefs and war veterans who are Zanu (PF) office bearers and government officials.

Unfortunately, there are virtually no real journalists left in the country, as there are no doctors, teachers, business people, farmers and so on. Even the beggars have fled, and the real cops now work for South African security companies because they would not stand the mad orders they had to take.

If, however, by any slim chance there were any enterprising ones among them, they would be detained, tortured, fired, murdered or expelled from the country, even before they reached the juicy sources of information – thanks to AIPPA and the Public Order Security Act (POSA).

The information blackout therefore persists – denying even Mugabe himself access to information. If he does not repeal it as a matter of urgency, he is sure to remain uninformed till his own lieutenants overthrow him and lock him up in Chikurubi.

Meanwhile, the real plotters would continue enjoying the immunity provided by their positions in the armed and secret services, aided by AIPPA of course.

Post published in: Opinions

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