Zimbabwe this week – Issue 4

This week, Zanu PFs desperation was written all over the faces of its senior officials and dwindling supporters.

Having lost the faith, trust and confidence of all Zimbabweans in particular the two generations of youths who lost a basic foundation in life due to Robert Mugabes dictatorship, tyranny and policy confusion, Zanu PF is trying anything under the sun to salvage its collapsed political fortunes.

In a normal society, a beauty pageant is purely a social event for young girls and young adults. Not so, in Zanu PFs eyes! On Sunday, the youngsters were surprised to find the catwalk event invaded by high-ranking soldiers in uniform, Zanu PF politicians and senior security officials all vying to honour them at the annual Miss Tourism Zimbabwe beauty pageant. The whole show resembled a forced Zanu PF rally on the unfortunate beauty contestants as the fading politicians and securocrats scrambled around for handshakes with the winners.

Meanwhile, identified senior army and police officers this week took over operations at Nyanga Police Station in Manicaland province, where 25 MDC activists including Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora are illegally detained on trumped up charges of political violence. Among those arrested are; 84 year old village Headman Nyakauru and 75 year old grandmother, Evangelist Machirita. The 24 were arrested on Sunday on false charges of political violence, while Hon. Mwonzora was arrested outside the Parliament building Harare on Tuesday. They were all supposed to appear in court towards the end of the week but no reasons were been given on their continued illegal detention or failure to appear before the courts two days in a row.

Furthermore, police at Beitbriege arrested two drivers and confiscated two official vehicles of the Prime Minister and MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai on flimsy reasons that they carried beacons used on ambulances and the motorcade. The drivers Clifford Sanyika and Joshua Mhuruyengwe, who were arrested at the Beitbridge Border Post on their way from South Africa were charged with contravening Section 29 (1) (10) or alternatively Section 29 (3) of Statutory Instrument 154 of 2010 for allegedly driving two vehicles fitted with blue beacon lights and yet the beacons were placed inside the car after being collected in South Africa.

Prosecutors claimed that the drivers had no authority to drive vehicles fitted with beacon lights. They said only a motor vehicle used by or for the purposes of the police force or military police of the Zimbabwe National Army or used for escorting the vehicle in which the President or a person authorised by the President is travelling may be equipped with a blue beacon light. The two were released on Tuesday. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais Office described the arrest of the two drivers and the impounding of the vehicles as a sign of disrespect and harassment.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Home Affairs has since summoned the police commissioner general, Augustine Chihuri over the latest upsurge in violence in the country and to give a brief on what the police have done to quell the violence that continues to rock Harare and other parts of the country. The police have conducted their constitutional mandate in a partisan manner that has left most asking if they really served the interest of the country or only serve to advance the agenda of an unpopular political party.

This week, the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai addressed an enthusiastic crowd for a New Zimbabwe Lecture Series at a local hotel where pertinent issues to do with the inclusive government, the elections, civil service remuneration, political violence and other bread and butter issues were discussed. President Tsvangirai said the GPA did not have a time frame of existence but would eventually fade once a new Constitution is put in place and a free and fair election has been held to usher in a people chosen administration.

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) this week licensed three new players in the print media as part of reforms to broaden participation in the sector dominated by state outlets. ZMC disclosed that it had granted operating licenses to a new daily newspaper, the National Daily, as well as to a magazine to be known as Yellow Pages. It has also approved the registration of a local office of the foreign news agency, Bloomberg.

Elsewhere, the EU this week announced that it was extending the travel restrictions on individuals who continue to violate human rights. There was a major outcry from Zanu PF accusing the MDC for advocating for the extension, but the unpopular Zanu PF partys insincerity in implementing the GPA and continued harassment and intimidation of people, their violent attacks on innocent civilians over the past month has not been helpful. Only 35 people were struck off the restrictive measures list.

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