He joins many other torture victims who have languished in Mugabe’s jails after severe beatings by unruly policemen, who now behave like gangsters.
Hlatshwayo’s ordeal follows the same pattern as that meted out to MDC officials earlier this year. They were arrested amid much government media fanfare, accused of being terrorists, beaten savagely and incarcerated in filthy conditions – denied medical attention, food and access to their families and lawyers.
After several months in jail they were all, but one, discharged. There was never any doubt of their innocence. Even the police knew all along that they were innocent. But they were acting on “orders from above” to punish their captive in order to teach them a lesson. In other words – extra-judicial punishment.
Simply because they were members of the opposition. The message is clear – Mugabe does not tolerate dissenting voices. Â
This is all happening while Zanu (PF) representatives – including the so-called minister of justice – are supposedly locked into negotiations with the MDC in order to restore Zimbabwe to the rule of law and create a level playing field to facilitate the holding of free and fair elections in five months’ time.
The MDC has made sure that South African President Thabo Mbeki is fully informed of all incidents of state-sponsored violence against dissenting voices. He can no longer say, as he has often done in the past, that he is not aware of just what the Mugabe regime is up to.
Surely now it must be painfully obvious to everyone that free and fair elections cannot be held in Zimbabwe under these conditions. Â
Mbeki’s self-imposed deadline slides into history soon – with nothing having been accomplished. Innocent Zimbabweans, like Hlatshwayo, continue to bear the brunt of the Mugabe regime’s unbridled brutality.
The ball is fairly and squarely in Mbeki’s court – and the world is watching.
For this is what the LORD says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited – he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret from somewhere in a land of darkness. I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right. …there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none but me. Isaiah 45; 18 – 21Post published in: News