The emperor unmasked

THE bloody clashes that broke out in Harare yesterday, as soldiers and police used brute force to disperse unarmed disgruntled opposition activists protesting over alleged vote-rigging by the ruling Zanu PF party and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), have confirmed fears that Zimbabwe still has a long way to go before plucking itself out of pariah statehood.

Zimind Comment

The police and military’s vindictiveness at unarmed civilians exercising their democratic rights is a clear demonstration that all the mantra about a new era and new dispensation under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government was just hot air meant to pull the wool over the international community’s eyes.

Yesterday’s incidents further confirmed that Zanu PF’s political intolerance is still strongly entrenched.

While the protestors may have jumped the gun and went into the streets before the announcement of the full results, there was no need for the government to use maximum force in containing the protests.

The police would have been well suited to deal with the situation, since the protests were peaceful.

The international observers that have been patting the government on the back for holding “a free, fair and credible election” have been left with egg on the face after Mnangagwa and his government unwittingly exposed their true colours.

And yesterday’s developments just served to confirm that the military has, indeed, always been the power behind Mnangagwa’s rule and even if he continues in power, his leadership is stained by the blood of innocent people whose lives were cut short before they could see the Zimbabwe they had been yearning for.

The international community that was keen to give Mnangagwa a fighting chance have now seen for themselves, for all his proclamations of peace and maturity, his government’s response to the protests, which in many ways was unjustified. Quite clearly, the military has failed to exercise the responsibility that places the safety of the people of Zimbabwe above all else. The electronic media was yesterday awash with pictures and footage showing a group of soldiers battering defenceless women going about their business in the Harare city centre.

It is strange that soldiers, who should keep to their barracks, were unleashed on defenceless civilians just after the President had called for restraint and the avoidance of provocative declarations and statements. This election, was by all means, supposed to be different given Mnangagwa’s pledge to turn a new leaf and dump “Mugabeism” that had become the hallmark of our body politic.

Besides, why has Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga invoked the Public Order and Security Act (Posa)? To curtail the freedoms of Zimbabweans, really?

Although Mnangagwa has delivered on some fronts, he has dismally failed where it matters most by displaying his intolerance of divergent views in the full glare of the international community he invited to give the much-needed international recognition to his re-election. Worse still, the demonstrations were violently crushed shortly after some regional observer groups had just issued statements describing the elections as free and fair, despite misgivings raised by the opposition. What is more scary is, if observers choose to pack their bags and head home ignoring the blatant abuse of State apparatuses they witnessed yesterday, then they would have betrayed Zimbabweans and condemned them to a life in hell over the next five years should Zanu PF be declared winners of this poll.

We believe it’s time observers, both regional and international, dump their quiet diplomacy and tell Mnangagwa in the face that he does not qualify to lead a civilian government. South Africa as head of Sadc can play a key role here.

36 Comments

  1. but why are we quick to jump the gun and start pointing fingers??? i was in the CBD when the so called Protests started, the MDC youths were forcing vendors off the road,forcing open shops to close, throwing bricks at other peace loving citizens as they went on with their day to day work,so who are we to put names on the people who did wat they could to bring back sanity onto the streets,its ok for a uniformed citizen to be brutally attacked by Bricks and nearly burnt alive by the protesters but it becomes unfair when the tables are turned,let us not point fingers before looking at ourselves, your wish is for the people to destroy our town, and private property then we talk about rebuilding,y not use that dame energy to try do positive things,the Army only came onto the streets in e afternoon, when the protests had started mid morning, wat prompted them to come should be our concern first, there should be more sterner punishment for those who insight violence from their homes or offices, taking advantage of the people because of restless wishes of a better country is not good leadership, i expected those that took advantage of this sad situation to have come out early advising people to stop the violent ways and go about their daily business,rather than wait for a series of events,then pretend to be concerned after the fact….
    The opposition has failed dismally in my books,after convincing most of is that it was time for change,we heard them and went to the ballot,only to see that they did not have the nation and its citizens at heart,but were looking for something to fuel their agenda so they stand in front of media houses n cameras, telling us how bad another citizen is because they were doing their job in safe guarding our nation….i support the soldiers and the action they took… if all that was done was peaceful, i believe there was no reason at all for the violent ways the youths demonstrated earlier. thus causing commotion for the whole CBD…

    1. Once again for all the Ediots…. The question is why were people who had nothing to do with the demonstration shot and killed ? You have to be a ZANU PF idiot to condone that sort of behavior from the armed forces. They real question is who allowed the army to fire live rounds at civilians ?? Any takers ???

      1. What where those people doing in town blocking roads destroying properties which are not theirs, probably because they have nothing themselves to lose. Elections had come, and every person should have stayed home, waited for results and any one not happy with the results, surely should know the legal process to appeal, given the number of lawyers in the opposition, they should know better. I am sorry for the loss of life, but surely when a person starts throwing stones to a person carrying a gun, its really laughable such level of ignorance should not exist in Zimbabwe at this stage.

    2. Its the police force which is trained to deal with the public not soldiers because they are just school dropouts who are trained to face the enemy. If the state needed the use of weapons there is a special force which is trained for that which is the Support unit. These guys were trained for more than twelve months on how to deal with people. In Zimbabwe soldiers must get out of barracks through the command of the president and I want to know who was the president during the time or it was just lawlessness at its highest level.ZANUPF is wrong in making state institutions like soldiers,police,judiciary its extension and we no longer have faith in anything because everything is ZANUNISED.

  2. Be serious young man ,suppose u are in for that how would you feel ,you dont know much about zim politics or why pple are protesting ?they are protecting their vote wangu.even during Mugabe era people were beaten and killed from the directives of munangagwa ,he was defence minister by then and several more people had disappered including Border Gezi kkkkkkk thus their type of rule ,they dont protect civillians , so be careful the almight God is seeing

  3. this is a stupid article and lets not promote unlawlessness in the name of protecting a right what is wrong is wrong you do not go on a violence orgy in the name of protesting an election loss moreso when you do not have an iota of evidence of rigging and the mdc leaders have been asked to produce proof and its not forthcoming, what a shame.

    1. @Eliasha If you practice what you preach regarding the rule of law don’t you smell a bit of a contradiction in your comment when soldiers fired at UNARMED civilians? You should never justify that kind of brutality on people regardless of where your loyalties lie.

      1. i don’t know what you are talking about but what is wrong is wrong and i watched the entire thing as it was being beamed live and clearly the law enforcement agents were out numbered and i am not sure how one justify party supporters stoning armed soldiers/police and everyone knows that its an invitation for disaster.
        If you are acquainted with events in our CBD the civilans have become law unto themselves and this was bound to explode at any time and my take is that the capital city must be cleaned of illegalities taking place there Now.
        Loss of life is regrettable but whilst we say this we equally need to look at the events which led to this breakdown in the situation and hiding behind the votes is totally unacceptable.

  4. It hasn’t even begun and someone has already got blood in their hands. How are we suppose to move on? Are politicians or the public a problem?

    All i can say is shame on us, this should be the time zimbabweans unite so we can move on.

    To all zimbos, please let’s not take things personal. Either of these guys is intending to change our situation and would suggest we stand and work with them.

  5. The loss of life is quite sad, but political leaders should desist from whipping their supporters into unlawful actions. If I have an election related complaint, I can’t have it addressed by burning vehicles and stoning other people. We should not only blame the security forces, but we should also blame the actors that made it necessary for the security forces to be deployed in town. It’s not all people who are disgruntled, so why should one force me to close my shop in order to amplify their complaint, which I am not interested in? The complaints may be genuine or not genuine, but MDC supporters are not allowed by law to force us to gang up with them.

  6. Now we know who the real butcher and architect of gukurahundi was. ED has blood thirsty demons in him, where in the world have you ever seen live ammunition being fired on protesters? We regret having supported this evil man in the November coup, ED himself is the criminal who was surrounding Mugabe

    1. @truth. This is not about Gukurahundi. It’s about a group of rowdy youths who were causing havoc in the CBD in the name of MDC. Their action was not justified at all.

      1. And was the murder of people justified. Even if the youths were rowdy, there are remedies within our law to deal with them, firing live bullets at civilians can never be acceptable period!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Are you saying burning cars and throwing stones around is justified?

          1. That does not mean you can use live ammunition on unarmed civilians. There are safer ways of controlling violence than using live ammunition e.g water cannons and tear gas.

        2. Are you saying burning cars and throwing stones around is justified?

  7. Now we know who the real butcher and architect of gukurahundi was. ED has blood thirsty demons in him, where in the world have you ever seen live ammunition being fired on protesters? We regret having supported this evil man in the November coup, ED himself is the criminal who was surrounding Mugabe

  8. The soldiers we celebrated during the Coup are the same who have now brutalized the people. It was only a lie from the coup plotters. Yinto yamanga nje

    1. THE M D C SHOULD HAVE PLAYED A ROLE IN THE OUSTER OF MUGABE WE SHOULD BE HAVING A DIFERENT SITUATION NOW M DC LACKS STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP FULL STOP

  9. once a killer will always be a killer

  10. Chakachaya

  11. “Since the protests were peaceful???” I don’t think the person who wrote this article has any insights of what happened in the CBD yesterday.

    1. I dont Know what you mean by peaceful protests when property was being destroyed and pedestrians vendors were being brutalised by these protesters

  12. WHY MUST IT BE THE ARMY WHO HAS TO DISPERSE THE CROWN IN A NATION WITH POLICEMEN.

  13. Patadzwa patadzwa reporter.Call Cleopatra as she is called in Rome.This was an abuse of the freedom of expression which Mnangagwa had ushed in.Lets be Zimbabweans and rebuild our nation.Lets not borrow from neighbours coz they have the resources

  14. This is how a cruel nation is being viewed by the international community where Mnangangwa and zanu/zec pf were jostling to market themselves so as to get aid from these donors. Nxaa the will of the evil doers has been opened widely as i have been clamouring for before the elections.Zimbabwe will and will never ever go anywhere as long as zanu pf rules zimbabwe.

  15. pamauraya vatatu mamhutsa zvihuru

  16. I believe the coach -roaches were being sprayed with insecticide . You do not need police but the fifth brigade.

  17. Political leaders who will be found guilty of inciting violence in this election SHOULD be barred from participating in ANY future election

  18. This is biased reporting

  19. It is sad that even in the face of the murder of fellow Zimbabweans, there are people willing (and/or paid) to try to sanitize this. People demonstrate angrily in cities around the world, sometimes setting cars on fire and having running battles with the police. But shooting unarmed civilians who are running away (and thus posing no direct threat) reminds us who we are dealing with. I’m sure they had become frustrated after pretending to be someone else all these months.

  20. i don’t know what you are talking about but what is wrong is wrong and i watched the entire thing as it was being beamed live and clearly the law enforcement agents were out numbered and i am not sure how one justify party supporters stoning armed soldiers/police and everyone knows that its an invitation for disaster.
    If you are acquainted with events in our CBD the civilans have become law unto themselves and this was bound to explode at any time and my take is that the capital city must be cleaned of illegalities taking place there Now.
    Loss of life is regrettable but whilst we say this we equally need to look at the events which led to this breakdown in the situation and hiding behind the votes is totally unacceptable.

  21. You cant be “going about your daily business” in the middle of a violent riot and yes there is a difference between peaceful protest and violent protest or riot, what of the people who lost their property during the chaos and others injured by the crowd. The innocent injured and dead were a casualty of the violence incited by the violent thugs that vandalized property

  22. Comment… Becareful of what you are all saying, for it will be judged against you in the court of God. We shall all go there, where these six departed are right now. It might not be you today, but it will definately be you tommorow. And this includes those who gave the orders ‘shoot to kill’.
    Know that they is Almighty God in heaven, who is ruler over all.
    We are but vanity. Be warned.

  23. Comment… Becareful of what you are all saying, for it will be judged against you in the court of God. We shall all go there, where these six departed are right now. It might not be you today, but it will definately be you tommorow. And this includes those who gave the orders ‘shoot to kill’.
    Know that they is Almighty God in heaven, who is ruler over all.
    We are but vanity. Be warned.

  24. Shoko ra Nehoreka

    Urayai mupedze pfuti here pavana vakabata ma flag?

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