Those of us who have spent years analyzing and commenting on the dire and catastrophic situation in Zimbabwe, have always asserted that the ruling establishment’s own misdeeds and abuses of power have been the major instigation for the imposition of these restrictive measures upon certain individuals and entities (largely accused of gross human rights violations, electoral fraud, and corruption).
In other words, the ZANU PF regime has been at the forefront of shooting itself in the foot – and, has absolutely no one else to blame for the subsequent consequences.
Surely, what are they to expect when – within a short space of only one week – activists (Hopewell Chin’ono being a case in point) have been threatened with invasion of their properties and looting of their possessions, barring of the opposition CCC from campaigning for the May 7, 2022 Zengeza West (Chitungwiza) local government by-election, journalists covering the by-election being arrested in the course of their duties, with the barbaric malicious attack on a CCC polling agent at one of the polling stations, and the alleged arrest of the neighboring St Mary’s opposition legislator Job Sikhala.
Is it any wonder the wise people of Zengeza punished the ruling ZANU PF candidate, by trouncing him in the election?
There is no perfect nation on this planet – which has zero incidents of human rights abuses, amongst another nefarious activities – but, events as witnessed in Zimbabwe just over the past seven days, are usually stretched over years in other countries…with maybe an attack on a journalist this year, abuse of an opposition official after two or so years, and possibly, threatening invasion of an activist’s personal property never occurring.
Yet, in Zimbabwe, these shameful and horrendous events happen with maddening regularity, such that have become the norm, rather than the exception.
Why, then, do those in authority in Zimbabwe, and their blind followers, become shocked when the international community expresses great disdain and disgust at such savage and uncivilized behavior by those who are supposedly leading a nation?
Certainly, this does not need a Zimbabwean to actually “correspond with an foreign entity for the purpose of calling upon harm on the country” – just to paraphrase some of the expected provisions of the proposed Patriotic Act – since, these unacceptable and unbecoming acts are there for the world to see.
The debate should not even be whether these targeted sanctions are legal or not – as, such measures always require the approval of the UN in accordance with international law, and not imposed unilaterally, as happened against Zimbabwe.
Rather, as the people suffering the brunt of the repression and banditry of the ZANU PF regime, we are more concerned and enraged at the ruling establishment’s treatment of ordinary citizens – than, the legality or illegality of the punitive measures imposed on our tormentors.
If anything, under such circumstances, those who have endured the pain and suffering authored by the ruling elite, can only respond, “zvaiwana ngwarati”, or “gona ana gona wakewo” – put simply means, a bully can also be bullied, and he who believes is invincible eventually has his own vanquisher.
Be that as it may, as much as it can never be denied that these sanctions have affected the economy to some measure – nonetheless, it would be the height of disingenuousness and uncreativeness to claim that the shocking extent of economic ruination and failure in our country is as a result of these restrictions on a few individuals and entities.
Whatever the case may be – the fact, however, remains the same – those who have undoubtedly been at the forefront of inviting sanctions upon Zimbabwe are no where to be found in the opposition, civic society, or social justice activism…but, right in the corridors and offices of the ruling ZANU PF party.
If there have been some in the opposition who have, indeed, called for these restrictive measures – then, this was a matter of a football striker, who merely placed his boot to a ball that was already crossing the goal line, which had been kicked by another player!
Surely, the striker can never be credited for the goal!
Let us say, you are an abusive father – who is in the cruel habit of hatefully denying his family food and clothing, who fails to send his own children to school, but brutally tortures them when they complain – who do you blame when others decide to take action against you?
Do you pile all the blame on your own children for ratting you out, or accuse the guy whom you believe has a crush on your wife and wants to break your family up, or even finger some in the local police of being jealous of your “success in life”?
Nonetheless, at the end of the day, if you want to be frank with yourself, you would know who exactly was at fault.
Why did you treat your own family – whom you are expected to protect, love, and cherish – in such a wicked, sadistic, and vile manner, in the first place?
The same applies to the Zimbabwe ruling establishment – who else can they blame for their continued isolation on the international stage (even being rattled and engaged by recent truthful comments by Lord Jonathan Oats in the British House of Lords) – except themselves?
Who held the hand of those in power in Zimbabwe, or held a gun to their heads, forcing them to threaten citizens with invasion of private properties, or to deny the opposition CCC their constitutional right to freely campaign, or savagely beat up a polling agent?
Do they seriously expect the world to merely sit by and watch, with arms folded – whilst a country’s leadership runs wild and amok, whilst wrecking havoc on a helpless and defenceless population?
When the logical global outrage and outcry eventually comes – who should be blamed?
There is no one else who has done more harm to the country’s global image, soiled Zimbabwe’s name, and invited targeted sanctions, than the ZANU PF regime itself!
…and, they do not appear to be slowing down, and relenting, on their determined quest to further place the country on the path of destruction!
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured