HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsAre we under orderly rule?

Are we under orderly rule?


The chaos sparked by security agents, especially soldiers, during the induction of census enumerators is not only disturbing, but shows that we are no longer under orderly rule.

There is now a sinister force in place bent on making our country ungovernable. It’s scary considering that soon we will be going for a constitutional referendum and then watershed elections.

Soldiers ran riot on Tuesday and yesterday disrupting the induction across provinces and in the process defying a civilian government directive to stay away. This is the clearest signal of a country edging closer to anarchy.

The pandemonium and turmoil being instigated by soldiers, who are mandated to safeguard the country, on the premise that teachers who usually carry out this exercise will campaign for the MDC-T, clearly shows that this debacle has become yet another turf war by Zanu PF.

It begs the question that if a mere census which is used to help government plan in the provision of services such as health care can create such chaos, what of the watershed elections that will decide who will govern the country?

This unfortunate incident has shown that if we were to have elections without reforms as agreed in the Global Political Agreement (GPA), there could be a bloodbath worse than that of 2008. The Luanda Sadc meeting, which reinforced the need to fulfil what was agreed on in the GPA, has been vindicated by this latest shenanigan.

This has just gone to emphasise why the MDCs are calling for security reforms. How can there be a free and fair election when soldiers cause havoc in a matter of national interest such as a census just to protect the interests of Zanu PF?

How can there be a free and fair election when senior army and police officers vow never to salute MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the event of him getting a clear mandate from the people of Zimbabwe to govern?

How can there be a free and fair election when the country’s police chief Augustine Chihuri declares that President Robert Mugabe cannot be removed by the ballot box which he derisively described as “a mere pen which costs less than five cents”?

How can there be a free and fair election when senior members of the army have branded Tsvangirai “a security threat” and parrot Zanu PF’s mantra that Tsvangirai is a “puppet of the West”?

Indeed, how can there be a free and fair election when we have reports of an increase of cases of intimidation by soldiers, especially in the rural areas, of citizens who support or who are suspected of supporting the MDCs?

The increasingly unruly behaviour of our armed forces clearly shows that among the cocktail of reforms recommended in the GPA, security sector reforms remain the most urgent.

When the soldiers do not go back to the barracks where they belong, we can forget about having violence-free elections.

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