PRESIDENT MNANGAGWA NEEDS TO CONDEMN THE INITIMIDATION & CHAOS IN BINDURA

Suspected G40 supporters have had their belongings thrown out of their homes, themselves kicked out and locked out. It echoes back to the 1985 elections, when Mugabe's "messiah" complex started setting in. That spirit can not be allowed to come back.


So, suspected G40 supporters have had their property thrown out of their homes and locked out of their own homes in this winter. Allegedly by ZANU PF supporters.

Yes, Saviour Kasukuwere may be back in the country and yes, his arrest last week may be because he and his brother, Dickson Mafios, may be suspected of playing for Bhora Musango or NPF or even MDC Alliance, but there are certain standards of decent human behaviour that no sane human being can condone.

This, chucking people of their homes in this cold winter, can not be condoned by anyone, let alone a ZANU PF that is cleansing itself and forging a new trajectory of our national discourse and politics.

Pictures are already making the rounds from human rights activists.

President Mnangagwa must not only condemn this but also make an example out of the people who are doing this. I am sure it would even convert some G40 people to his side if did.

But the danger is much more deep-seated and the reason why he needs to do this go way beyond the elections and what impact this action may have on them being accepted by all players as free and fair.

Back in 1985, around the time of that year's election, this same tactic was used by President Mugabe's supporters in the urban areas of Zimbabwe. In Highfields, Glen Norah, Mabvuku and other high-density suburbs, masked ZANU PF supporters kicked in the doors of sleeping families in the dead of night (it also winter).

Stories are recounted by the perpetrators to this very day of how they threw all belongings and furniture outside. They then ordered the suspected Muzorewa and ZAPU or other opposition supporters out. Muzorewa at that time was the biggest threat after ZAPU and his support base, like Nkomo's tended to be tribal-based.

After the suspected opposition supporters went out of their homes and stood shivering in the cold outside, their tormentors would then lock the doors and either swallow the keys (majority of cases) or throw them away when they had walked a distance from the victims.

This was fountainhead of a culture of intolerance and impunity nurtured under Mugabe. And for the next 30 or so years, it drenched our entire body-politic with the stench of intolerance, violence and impunity.

President Mnangagwa tells us we are building a new Zimbabwe, one in which we all live in harmony and can express our views openly without fear of retribution.

This is one time he needs to walk that talk. And urgently.

Never mind the elections and the observers. He needs to do this for the good of our future as a mature, decent people, a mature democracy.

Not condemning this now will give the impunity licence once more to supporters of any party to do what they see the Bindura crew did last night.

Opposition supporters have also taken the cue from the culture that Mugabe established when he led us: intolerance, violence and the politics of insults and intimidation. It is the politics that they say giving results from Mugabe and ZANU PF and they thought that following those footsteps would also deliver results for them.

President Mnangagwa now needs to make sure the country learns new lessons. He needs to make sure they see for themselves that it is possible to win purely as a contest of ideas and with no violence or intimidation or insults thrown.

He has started well, but this, for some of us, is the biggest test before him and his administration right now.


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