One wonders whether this government is serious about anything except to look after itself and rule in perpetuity.
Last week, we had a story in this newspaper with the headling: Tsvangirai storms Zanu PF ‘terror’ base.
This pertained to main opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai going to Harare’s Buduriro suburb following reports of clashes there between his party’s supporters and Zanu PF activists and seeing for himself a “base” set up there by Zanu PF activists.
As predicted, only the MDC-T victims of the violence have been arrested, charged and remanded in custody while the Zanu PF aggressors are roaming free to continue with their siege of Budiriro.
According to the report, tempers flared in the high-density suburb when after meeting party supporters at local MP Costa Machingauta’s house, Tsvangirai’s motorcade sped towards the Zanu PF “terror base” at Budiriro 4 shopping centre, where there was a netball match involving some middle-aged women clad in Zanu PF regalia. Middle-aged women?
The ruling party activists have erected a perimeter fence around the office from where they allegedly collect money from vendors, market stallholders and commuter omnibus crews operating in the area daily. In other words, they have installed their own illegal parallel structures over and above the duly-elected local authority, Harare City Council, which is led by the MDC-T.
This is not only contemptuous, but criminal, but nothing is being done. This cannot be denied because it is being replicated across all wards in Harare’s high-density suburbs.
Such practices can only antagonise genuine residents with a sense of pride and civic responsibility in their community because they have heavily invested in the neighbourhood in contrast to the ruling party marauders who have no stake whatsoever in the community except to extort and loot and will leave any time after wreaking havoc for their next victims. That is how vicious, parasitic and voracious Zanu PF has become over the years of impunity and immunity from arrest and prosecution.
Revenue which could be used to fund the disgraceful, embarrassing delapidation of the city is being monopolised by criminals and thugs.What chance of economic blueprint
ZimAsset taking off with such a free-for-all of extortion?
Going forward, it’s high time residents fought back to reclaim their rights. There is need now for a co-ordinated city-wide community response which will go all the way to the Constitutional Court. It might take years in view of the compromised local government and central government institutions and that the wheels of justice turn slowly, not to mention that attitudes — including judicial ones — change even slower, but now is the time to start chipping away at the stubborn block.
People cannot go on meekly normalising the criminally abnormal. This applies to Zimbabwe at large. There is no substitute for focus and persistence.