The arrest and continued incarceration of Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora and six villagers for allegedly inciting violence and 14 Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) activists, the continued incarceration of former Highfields MP Munyaradzi Gwisai, human rights activist, Hopewell Gumbo and 45 others for allegedly attempting to overthrow the Inclusive Government as well as a report that the Member of Parliament for Zhombe, Roger Tazviona, is languishing since Monday 21 February in a Kwekwe prison for unspecified reasons indicate that Zimbabwe is in a state of emergency where civil and political liberties of the opponents of ZANU PF are violated with impunity. When accused people are denied an opportunity to access to their lawyers, receive medical attention and appear before a court of law within statutory requirements then there is no plausible reason to suggest that there is no state of emergency in the country.
This spate of arrests of pro-democracy forces and the deployment of armed forces in Harares high density suburbs over the weekend serves as a reminder to The Coalition of events that followed President Robert Mugabes defeat in the first round of the presidential elections in March 2008 and the violent June 27 poll where the country witnessed gross violations of human rights that can only be witnessed when the constitution is suspended.
Although there is no statutory communication declaring a state of emergency in Zimbabwe, events on the ground as they relate to the general suspension of citizens civil and political liberties point to a situation where a de facto state of emergency exists in the country. The use of colonial style, repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Criminal Law and Codification Act (particularly Section 121) points to a government which has suspended its citizens fundamental freedoms.
What is worrying to The Coalition is that unlike in 2008, the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are now part of the same oppressive system. They sit idly while their supporters, legislators and pro-democracy activists face trumped up charges and remain in detention without trial.
The arbitrary arrests of pro-democracy activists and events on the ground clearly show that the Constitution of Zimbabwe has been suspended in order to deal with political dissent as ZANU PF prepares a violent electoral political onslaught against its opponents.Post published in: News