The abductions of Jestina Mukoko and Gandi Mudzingwa are directly linked to the case being built by Robert Mugabe's government around the "insurgency" issue, which is itself linked now to the rioting soldiers in the city of Harare. The ultimate aim still remains the convincing of SADC that there is a clear and present danger to the Zimbabwean state from armed invaders. Enough, at least to allow for SADC to remain silent in the wake of the imposition of a State of Emergency. I have already explained on this blog how the military "mutiny" was to be factored into this "insurgency" case in order to bolster Mugabe's planned State of Emergency.
Some questions that might interest you at the outset: Why have SADC and the African Union leaders not called for the release of the eleven MDC activists whose case Morgan Tsvangirai presented so forcefully at that SADC meeting? Why did they say nothing publicly? Why have they not said anything about the abduction of Jestina Mukoko and Gandi Mudzingwa, Tsvangirai's former PA and the MDC Director of Intelligence?
It is because their cases, apparently, are now part of a national security issue. Mugabe presented "evidence" to SADC that was followed by the request to them to give Zimbabwe a free hand to "investigate thoroughly".
It was SADC that intervened to get the Zimbabwe investigation team into Botswana after hearing this evidence. All the while, Mugabe was telling SADC that the talks should proceed and he should then form a government with Tsvangirai. On November 9, in his presentation to the SADC heads of state, Mugabe told them, " Nothing should stop us implementing this agreement with the MDC. If the MDC are certain that they have no case to answer for in the insurgency matter, then the investigations will clear them and we will continue working together in government. As they insist that that they have done nothing wrong, so we say let us form the government forthwith. The MDC's proclaimed innocence in this matter should ensure that nothing happens to jeopardise that government."
Mugabe has also told SADC that the evidence around the MDC's insurgency plan made it impossible for him to acquiesce to their demand for Home Affairs. He actually offered to cede complete control of the Home Affairs ministry once the investigations have been completed and if these cleared the MDC of all charges.
His reasoning, which SADC appears to have bought, was that he could not agree to handing over to the MDC a security ministry that could be used to frustrate the investigations into this whole matter. The MDC is reported to have privately suggested to ZANU PF that Dumiso Dabengwa could be put in to manage that ministry as a neutral party. This was rejected by ZANU PF on the grounds that he was not neutral but had in fact displayed naked bias against ZANU PF and would, therefore, only side with the MDC should they choose to be mischievous with that portfolio. The suggestion was never put to SADC.
In ZANU PF's "insurgency" story, Gandi Mudzingwa features prominently. Mugabe's "government" claims that Mudzingwa, who had been "promoted" to be the post of MDC Director of Intelligence, is the one who coordinated the sending out of youths into Botswana for training. Some of the "documentary" evidence they have presented includes the famous MDC Report of the "Commission of Enquiry" dated 25 June 2005. This forms part of the most basic and oldest evidence in the voluminous dossier presented to SADC by Mugabe's men at the SADC Organ on Defence and Politics in Mozambique in October. In the document, the ZANU PF government has drawn special attention to the paragraph on Gandi Mudzingwa, who, in the words of that internal document, "admitted to working with them (the youths who beat up staff and other politicians at Harvest House just prior to the split) on special projects." It's about establishing a trail.
The "evidence" still to be presented by the regime to SADC in its final submission will also include other "MDC internal documents" which are said to be related to the training of youths in Serbia. The document allegedly specifically mentions Mudzingwa and one Dennis Murira as the two first sent to the Eastern Europen country in December 2004 to train militarily. The ZANU PF regime claims that this was the genesis of the insurgency plan, "which was hatched in frustration as Mr Morgan Tsvangirai faced serious treason charges at the time."
From here, ZANU PF has woven an intricate web that encompasses the allegation that the Zimbabwe Peace Project was more than just an advocacy organisation. Robert Mugabe's government states "with confidence" that the ZPP was in fact an integral part of the plan by providing safehouses for the young men who were sent outside the country under the guise of "ptotecting them from threats to their lives." The regime goes further to say that the ZPP also worked closely with the MDC to facilitate the smuggling of these youths into Botswana to be trained. The abductions are part of the effort to prove this, through "confessions."
Essentially, then, the case to SADC has to have a clear trail of how the youths were recruited in Zimbabwe, by whom, where they were housed before they were sent out of the country and so forth. This is where the abductions in broad daylight of two ZPP workers in the wake of Jestina's own disappearance come in to give a more complete picture for Mugabe's "case". After the abduction of Jestina Mukoko, the ZANU PF regime is privately cliaming, her questioning revealed something that should have been evident to the regime from the word go: she did not know or have the details about safehouses where any MDC activitsts could have been put before they left Zimbabwe, or any detailed day to day oprations. This was why there was a "raid" on the offices of Ms Mukoko's ZPP, whose sole purpose was the abduction of two staff members . Nothing, absolutely nothing else was taken.
The two were Brodreck Takawira, Provincial Coordinator for Harare and surrounds and Pascal Gonzo, a driver.
Their adbuction is in pursuit of the aim of building a step by step map of how the "insurgents" were recruited (in Harare, where most of them are alleged by Mugabe to have come from the poor townships.). "These were processed by the ZPP," according to the "evidence" ZANU PF is building "and central in that processing were these two gentlemen, a driver and the man responsible for coordinating the activities of the organisation in Harare."
This whole thing is interesting for the fact that SADC itself has remained silent. There has been no word from any SADC leader on Jestina Mukoko. There have been no calls for her release or for Mugabe's regime to tell the world where she is. The same with the two staff members abducted. The same with the eleven MDC members abucted in the period immediately before the SADC Summit in South Africa at which the Home Affairs ministry was split. There are claims that "most member states are being briefed at the security level of the developments in the investigations."
This is the end game of the grand plan we see being executed here, as SADC sends an investigations team to Botswana led by a Swaziland security official to confirm the other evidence that Mugabe's people claim to have unearthed there during their trip in November. Mugabe's regime has told SADC that, "with Tsvangirai now out of the country and refusing to come back to Zimbabwe, the risk of people involved in the insurgency plot fleeing Zimbabwe is now very real. We believe that Tsvangirai is aware that the net is closing and has communicated his concern to Zimbabwe that those who helped in the setting up of this conspiracy should leave immediately in order to frustrate the investigations."
I now believe strongly that the next time we see Gandi Mudzingwa, Jestina Mukoko and the two staff members from the ZPP will be in the company of the eleven or 15 MDC activists who were also abducted as I explained above and as widely reported elsewhere. They will be appearing together as either "co-conspirators or architects of the insurgency" in the evidence to be put forward by Mugabe. There has already been mention in the media of Mugabe's request that the SADC team come to Zimbabwe for a presentation of witnesses in this alleged insurgency. These would certainly include Ms Mukoko, her two staff members and Gandi Mudzingwa.
To anchor all of this, I ask you to pause and ask yourselves the question I have asked twice already: Why is it that SADC remains silent on these abductions. Why are there no condemnations of these acts of abduction by even a single member state? Could it be that they know something that we all do not? Could it be that, as Mugabe's Spokesman said on Saturday, they have already been tempted with the promise that, if they hold their horses, they "shall see how the merchants of war use askari Presidents to secure war?"
All this comes back yet again to the issue of declaring the country infested with insurgents, to whom the "mutiny" by soldiers is being linked and which, as Mugabe calculates, will get SADC to at least not object or, at best, to see the need for the declaration of a State of Emergency in a country facing such a coordinated security threat. And thereby keep quiet as it is imposed? In fact, when you do think about it, abductions such as witness now can only be tolerated and not be commented on by SADC if there is a State of Emergency in force. It appears that Mugabe has, after all, got the conditions that put Zimbabwe in a SoE without having to declare it formally. If SADC can tolerate this, can I hear from those who asked why they would tolerate an SoE government in Zimbabwe. Without the MDC. What, pray tell, is your view now?