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Government must expose the third force

One imposing fact about the Zimbabwean Constititution is its unrelenting mention of the fact that the authority to govern is derived from the people of Zimbabwe and, as such, due respect must be accorded to them

guest column…Learnmore Zuze

One imposing fact about the Zimbabwean Constititution is its unrelenting mention of the fact that the authority to govern is derived from the people of Zimbabwe and, as such, due respect must be accorded to them.

The supreme law of the land presents the governing authority, at any given time, as a general custodian of the rights of the people of Zimbabwe.

The responsibility to see to the welfare of the young, the elderly, the disabled, women and Zimbabweans in their entirety is squarely placed at the doorstep of the government by the all important document.

Zimbabwe is a supposed unitary, democratic and sovereign republic. The government is therefore constitutionally mandated to protect its citizens from marauding forces.

It becomes imperative that these salient features of the Constitution are brought to the fore as the abduction case of youthful medical doctor, Peter Magombeyi, rages on. In the clutter of things, it is possible to forget the mandate of the government and that of its citizens.

There have been accusations and counter-accusations, with government emerging from one corner of the ring staunchly defending itself and absolving itself of any unlawful activity.

On the contrary, the opposition has been unequivocal maintaining that the abduction and subsequent four-day disappearance of Magombeyi is consistent with previous acts and had everything to do with the State.

In its defence, the State has described the spate of abductions witnessed in the last few months as the work of fiction by detractors bent on soiling government’s human rights record.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Ambassador Cain Mathema came out fuming that government will not hesitate to introduce new laws that regulate social media, warning individuals against making false abduction claims.

In its widely publicised defence, Mathema argued that there was a systematic plan to discredit the government ahead of the United Nations General Assembly being attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in New York, United States, “We need to craft laws to penalize anyone who makes false allegations against the government,” Mathema said.

Now the question is: could there be indeed a wider plot to tarnish the image of the government of Zimbabwe by some third force as we continue to hear from State media.

I conceive that it is prudent that one tries to follow through the government’s narrative that some third force is behind the abductions. If this should be true, it might imply that Zimbabwean law enforcement agents are somehow sleeping on the wheel.

Magombeyi’s abduction is just but a drop in the ocean of the total figure of abductions witnessed in this country since the deposition from power of former President Robert Mugabe. Just to cite a few, about three days before the MDC demonstration on August 16, 2019, human rights activist Tatenda Mombeyarara was abducted at his Chitungwiza home and fatally assaulted by armed masked men.

Immediately after this, Mufakose MDC youth leader Blessing Kanotunga was abducted in a matter related to the workshop held in Maldives. Then, there was the abduction and subsequent inhuman treatment of comedienne Samantha Kureya in connection with her satirical skits. Recently, it was the abduction of Magombeyi after allegedly receiving threats in text messages for some time.

At law, there is no denying that these are brutish acts of savagery which deserve national condemnation and, further, national educational campaigns on how citizens can protect themselves.

Abductions have been happening for some time and indeed it was overwhelmingly urgent for the State, as the custodian of the rights of its citizens to close-in on supposed terrorist groups feigning kidnappings and abductions of citizens in a bid to tarnish government. Could it be possible in the sea of abductions witnessed so far that the State, through its own agents has not been able to sniff some lead and bring to shame such handiwork as meant to taint its image? It becomes curious knowing how efficient Zimbabwean police can be when indeed they have to crack certain mysteries. Working on virtually non-existent leads, the police in Zimbabwe have been able to bring robbery culprits to book.

Even some of the worst criminals in the country’s history have been sniffed out of remote parts of Mozambique to come and face justice in local courts. Could it be true that the government has surely failed to name and shame the third force behind the supposed acts meant to discredit it?

Would it be all part of the comedy that those bent on tarnishing government’s human rights record would electrocute the privates of their partners in crime all to prove the government wicked? Medical examinations on Magombeyi have confirmed torture of the privates and it is mind-blowing that the so-called third force would go to such inconceivable acts all to prove that Zimbabwe has a terrible human rights record?

In conclusion, the current scenario in Zimbabwe can only mean two things: Firstly, It would be logical to conclude that the State itself is a participant in its purported attack by its failure to find a single lead in these crimes after the myriad abductions witnessed in the country.The second version is that there is no third force and that these abductions are real.