Are you a Subject or a Citizen?

HARARE - CHRA condemns the violence that has accompanied local government elections. Violence is the enemy of the democratic process and serves only to advance the agenda of those who prefer to operate outside the framework of a State based upon the rule of law. Unfortunately there are many in Zimba

bwe who are actively pursuing their sectarian goal of a fascist dictatorship and who see the rule of law as just an impediment in their way. Such people regard elections, due process and such as irrelevant niceties of liberal democracy.
Driven by their belief that their participation in the national liberation of Zimbabwe from colonialism bestowed a divine right to rule upon them, these anti-democratic elements seek to exclude all others from the political process and indeed from life itself. In much the same way as the white colonialists believed that their supposed racial superiority conferred the right to rule upon them, these uber-liberators no doubt believe that they and their descendants will rule for a thousand years.
The mere holding of elections does not indicate that a democratic process is in place. Many dictators seek to legitimise their theft of power by holding farcical elections that ‘return’ them to power with 99% of the vote. To use as cliché, “Democracy is not an event but a process”.
The regime currently occupying the State obviously regards Zimbabweans as subjects who must do what they are told or be beaten, arrested, murdered, raped or driven out of the country. It is contemptuous of our people calling them ‘people without totems’, ‘sugar junkies’, ‘foreigners’, ‘non-indigenous’ or any number of derogatory terms intended to exclude their targets from participation in the political process.
It is clear that no legitimate outcome can be obtained under such circumstances and that the results will not reflect the wishes of citizens. The opposition parties should not legitimatise the results by accepting those results that were favourable to them and condemning those negative outcomes where they lost but must reject the results in toto. All elected councillors should immediately resign their positions to highlight the fraudulent process and to provoke a constitutional crisis. The same tactic should be applied to the National Assembly. There can be no genuinely legitimate government, either at central or local levels, without a new constitution and the other steps called for by civil society.
In the face of this onslaught upon our very right to exist, residents in Harare need to ask themselves whether they are subjects of His Majesty or citizens of the Republic. If they acquiesce in being treated as subjects, they should shut up and put up, accepting punitive rates charges, abysmal service delivery, illegal violence and all the other accoutrements of this neo-feudal kleptocracy.
We in CHRA believe the following:
§Our citizenship is an inalienable reality based upon our birth and allegiance
§Citizenship is not bestowed upon us by anyone else.
§The mugabe regime seeks to deny our rights as citizens.
§Citizens will neither collaborate with nor fund a illegal Commission
§Harare belongs to its residents, not to a clique of politicians.
CHRA has taken great pains to follow due process in our efforts to restore the rights of our residents. We have appealed to the regime (the de facto Executive arm of the State) to observe the laws of the country. We have pleaded with the Judiciary to protect our rights in the face of a rapacious Executive. We have petitioned Parliament to uphold their laws and hold the Executive to account. None of these steps have produced any positive outcome. We therefore feel that we are entitled, even obligated, as citizens, to engage in civil disobedience.
CHRA seeks to return power to its rightful owners – the citizens of the country. We are not politicians but we will interrogate the policies of those who seek to govern us. We support no political party but will work with any person or groups who seek the same goals. We seek not to ‘lead the people’ but to facilitate the people’s own leadership skills to lead themselves. The best defence against tyranny is the refusal to collaborate in the theft of our power as citizens.
As Chairman of CHRA, I have refused to pay anything to the thieves at Town House since December 2004. The failure of the City to prosecute me can only be due to their fear of a high profile case in the courts that will expose their illegitimacy. Responsible citizens will emulate my example. – Mike Davies

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