MDC-Tsvangirai Activist "Abducted" Last Night - Here's The Bigger Picture
The wave of abductions from last year has started again, signalling to the MDC-T what awaits them if they walk out of the Inclusive Government. The effort is being led by the security establishment, which even Mugabe allegedly has a hard time controlling. It explains a lot of the behaviour from Morgan Tsvangirai right now, insisting on remaining in government to try and minimise the impact of the inevitable assault on his party by ZANU PF as elections approach, whenever that may be.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 28 October 2009
The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai has confirmed reports that started reaching us last night that one of their employees and activist, Pascal Gwezere was "abducted" last night by armed men in a double cab vehicle.
The abduction took place in the township of Mufakose in Harare.
Gwezere is a very close relative of MDC-T Morgan Tsvangirai, his mother is a sister to Morgan Tsvangirai's own mother. Gwezere works in the intelligence department of the MDC.
This "abduction" follows an attempted abduction of another MDC activist who heads the secretariat of the MDC-T security division, Edith Mashayire.
As I promised day before yesterday, I will now lay out for you what this is all about and why this is the reason why Morgan Tsvangirai is reluctant to leave government completely and go back to the trenches.
Put bluntly, the insurgency case, involving Jestina Mukoko and others, in which the MDC-T stands accused of attempting to overthrow Mugabe by force of arms, is still active. Mugabe and ZANU PF had simply kept quiet about it because of the formation of the Inclusive Government.
They had not yet managed to implicate Tsvangirai himself, as was the original plan.
Morgan Tsvangirai openly admits that he is aware of this. The moment he walks out of government, Mugabe and ZANU PF will kick into action the case of insurgency.
Do not rule out the rearrest of Jestina Mukoko on "modified" charges - which are essentially the same charges as before with a few variations to get around the human rights and legal issues arising from her release by judicial order.
The initial intention of crippling the MDC in the run up to any election is still very much in play.
There are, of course, those who dismiss this ZANU PF plottery as so much hogwash, but believe me it is not. for several reasons:
Mugabe and his cohorts believe that there have nothing left to lose. They believe that they have hit rock bottom in terms of international relations. For starters, they are still banned from most parts of the Western world, credit lines and balance of payment support are still frozen.
Sanctions, in words, have reached their limit.
As ZANU PF said when they encouraged ZBC and ZTV to pirate international programmes and movies: "What more can they do to us. We are already under sanctions."
The reasoning is "In for a penny, in for a pound."
Despite the continued misplaced faith in the regional SADC and continental AU bodies, these will remain on the sidelines, urging dialogue, while Tsvangirai, Mukoko and entire structures of the MDC are decimated, arrested and incarcerated on banditry charges.
That the charges may eventually be dismissed in court is of little consequence to the game plan. The idea is to so preoccupy the leadership of the MDC with trials and arrests that the grassroots fail to get any direction and leadership.
That is the first thing.
The second thing is to terrify the same grassroots structures by reaching down to Provincial and District structures, arresting MDC-T leaders in those structures and looking out for anyone at all who may remain active in mobilising the people on behalf of Tsvangirai.
Mugabe knows his people. He knows they will not at all raise their heads, fearing that they will also be sent to join their leaders in jail and be put on trial.
Then there is the mentality that was shown even on this blog as we discussed the disappearance of Jestina Mukoko. I was the first to break the news that she had been "arrested" on banditry charges. I also predicted the eventual abduction of such people of Ghandi Mudzingwa on the same charges.
Most people who came to blog also said the same thing, that there is no smoke without fire and that the police did not just arrest people out of the blue: "Why her, specifically? She knows something," was one comment left here on the blog.
So, Mugabe knows that the MDC supporters will be cowed into silence, and elections will arrive, be conducted and pass without the leadership of the MDC-T, even down to the District and Branch levels.
MDC activists will be too afraid to campaign for their campaign with hundreds of their fellow comrades being abducted and arrested.
What is more important, whoever, is that this is an indication of how the next general election will be conducted, no matter what MDC-T supporters (especially those in the diaspora) may tell you.
Violence. Intimidation. Murder. With the UN, SADC, AU, America and Britain looking on helplessly, issuing harsh sounding words that will roll off Mugabe's back like water off a duck's back.
This is why Tsvangirai says there is no option to the Inclusive Government. If he is in it, he hopes, he will be able to minimise the decimation of his structures and keep an eye on aspects of the ZANU PF intimidation machine.