Now you know Mr Nowak

manfred_nowak2Only those who have foolishly allowed themselves to be misled into believing that the leopard had somehow changed its spots over a short eight months of unity government would have been surprised by the shoddy treatment meted out to United Nations torture expert Manfred Nowak by the Zanu (PF) wing of the coalition government. We were not!

Indeed, if there was anything that surprised us in the whole Nowak affair, it was the fact that Zanu (PF) had in the first placed toyed with the idea of allowing such a high ranking UN expert to peep into the horror cupboards of its 29-year rule. That was truly out of character for Zanu (PF).

And if there is any profit to come out of the Nowak debacle apart from how it put to rest the small matter of who between MDC-T and Zanu (PF) calls the shots in Zimbabwe we hope the incident has demonstrated to all that when it comes to the real issues Zanu (PF) will not change its tactics.

As for the unfortunate Mr Nowak, the disgraceful treatment he received at Harare International Airport was the most educating experience he could have ever had about the way President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) treat anyone who dares cross their path.

After his airport encounter with Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents masquerading as immigration officials there was absolutely no need for the Austrian academic to inspect Harares Matapi police station where countless Zanu (PF) opponents have been beaten and tortured by the police.

There was no need for Nowak to visit the countrys jails where hundreds of inmates have died of hunger and disease and conditions remain so bad that — according to Judge President Rita Makarau any jail sentence would seem like a death sentence.

That they could force him, the UNs special rapporteur on torture, to spend the night on the cold airport benches should give Nowak a good idea of how Zanu (PF) would treat us, lesser mortals, whenever it feels offended by us.

“I have not been treated by any government in such a rude manner than by the government of Zimbabwe,” Nowak told journalists in Johannesburg upon his return from Harare airport. We sincerely sympathise with the UN envoy.

But we can assure him that Jestina Mukoko and many others have faced much worse in the torture chambers of the CIO. And Mukoko and company are the lucky ones to survive. Many did not come out of the chambers alive. Their dead bodies were later discovered dumped in the bushes or by the roadside.

As for Zanu (PF) we have only one question to ask: wouldnt it have made sense to allow Nowak to at least spend the night at a hotel and deport him first thing the next morning?

Why humiliate the man by making him sleep at the airport like some lost stowaway? And with this kind of behaviour who really needs the West to demonise Mugabe and Zanu (PF)?

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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