Realign Security Sector now

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

ZANU PF’s rejection of security sector reforms is the reason we have violence today.

One of the most worrying disturbances that are engulfing the Kenyan elections taking place this week is the inability of the state to protect its citizens as they cast their constitutionally protected right to vote. Recent media reports in that country indicate that many citizens fear that there will be a repeat of political violence as was the case in their last elections. In Zimbabwe, the same is feared. There are clear indications that human rights violations are on the increase and from what we see today, every one of those violations

Zenzele Ndebele of Ingwe Studios dragged to court after being harrased by the CIO

Zenzele Ndebele of Ingwe Studios dragged to court after being harrased by the CIO

is related to the upcoming elections. Just like before, ZANU-PF appears to be the main culprit in perpetrating violence.

Like many elections before, President Robert Mugabe is calling for peace but on the other hand, relying heavily on state security apparatus to intimidate and commit horrible acts of violence against its opponents. Mugabe is letting his supporters go on the rampage violating every calls for peace because they seem to have concluded that if MDCs were allowed to campaign freely for the YES vote, this opportunity will give them a chance to build up strong support against Mugabe in the mooted June elections.

Disturbing developments

Last week, Zimbabwe news was dominated by the story of a horrible murder that is said to have been committed by ZANU-PF supporters, the brutal killing of an innocent child in Headlands, Manicaland. Also last week, police and intelligence services went on a search and arresting spree targeting Non-Governmental Organisations which are thought to be on the mission to distribute small radios to villagers. Several civil society members and journalists have been arrested while a number of non-governmental organisations have fell victim to police raids and confiscations of radios and communication equipment. Several members of the MDC have been reportedly kidnapped and tortured.

Last Saturday, Mzondiwa Njanjeni a member of the MDC from ward 19 in the Vungu constituency was pulled out of a church service, handcuffed, thrown into a car without number plates, driven to his house, assaulted, kicked around and accused of being a recruiter for the MDC. Bernard Lusina Dube, an MDC supporter was hounded out of his homestead, handcuffed, stripped naked, severely assaulted. He was robbed of his clothing, cash and his cell phone by known ZANU PF supporters. After beating him they left him for dead. He suffered severe injuries on his head and face. This situation is spreading throughout the country, opening the scars of last elections violence.

What is wrong?

From the look of things, it looks like Zimbabweans have been taken for a ride on crucial developments related to the Global Political Agreement. Chief among these is refusal by Mugabe to institute security sector reforms. Mugabe and ZANU-PF have completely

“Mugabe is an excessive burden and so unpopular he could lose to donkey” - Jonathan Moyo

“Mugabe is an excessive burden and so unpopular that he could lose to donkey” – Jonathan Moyo

rejected the idea of having an impartial security sector, arguing that doing so would be an intrusion and weakening of the country’s security. For what we know, the real reason for this rejection is ZANU-PFs reliance on the state’s security to do its dirty work of destabilising Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans are a peace loving people but every time the country trudges towards elections, citizens are subjected to brutalisation by their own police and intelligence services. Zimbabweans must lobby against the staging of elections due to the resurgence of political violence. If we don’t start now, things are only going to get worse. There is no point of holding elections in order to get people killed. This is the very reason why a coalition government was negotiated. For the MDCs to only report these issues will mean nothing until they lay out plans to boycott an election full of violence. The referendum campaigns are already indicating that we are headed for the worst and we should not waste more time to get another soul killed. Democracy building is a long, tiring and sometimes a hopeless process and part of the process involves people rejecting abnormality in its strongest terms. The time is now and we expect cool heads to prevail before we all get hurt.

  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    “Zimbabweans must lobby against the staging of elections due to the resurgence of political violence”. That is the issue, period!

  2. Mathula says:

    I really hope our leaders will not get us into a trap of legitimizing ZANU PF by going into this election before reforms..

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