BURNING THE HOUSE DOWN TO FLUSH OUT A RAT



A private vehicle burns after being torched by MDC protestors in Harare this past week, before soldiers moved in to quell the situation

It is a common and ancient saying in Zimbabwe. Much like the english speak of cutting off one's nose in order to spite one's face: "burning the house down to flush out a rat".

The situation in Zimbabwe is straightforward:

Nelson Chamisa narrowly lost the election to Emmerson Mnangagwa. After this, he and Tendai Biti sent drunk youths into Harare City Centre. They were armed with stone, iron bars and fire. They smashed shops. They burnt cars.

But the plan was much worse than this.

The reason you are not hearing greater condemnation of government's heavy-handedness, the reason why some people appear "shocked" that the "world is remaining silent" in the face of this is simple enough:

The government has concrete evidence that it has shared with foreign governments about the actual plan by Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti. And here is it is:

They were going to cause this mayhem in all urban centers of Zimbabwe, stop the counting and announcing of the vote by invading the ZEC Election Command Centre.

After that, they were going to go and occupy Parliament, Munhumutapa Building (the Presidential Offices in Harare) and other key institutions like ZBC. (This is why you saw army tanks guarding Parliament the day after the army illegally shot at the violent protesters, by the way).

They would have refused to move until the authorities declared Nelson Chamisa the new president. There is evidence galore. And that evidence is the reason they are looking for Tendai Biti and other leaders of the MDC. The evidence against them is clear-cut.

Nelson Chamisa, on the other hand, has been careful not be caught on tape or to write anything down that would link him directly to his actions (much like it was almost impossible for the Allies to link the Holocaust directly to Hitler because he was very careful about writing his orders down).

The upshot, really, is that Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance were preparing to burn Zimbabwe down in order to get Chamisa into State House.

Zimbabweans, of course, have to decide whether it was worth it to burn their house down in order to get Chamisa into power.

Amazingly, all this was being done with no proof whatsoever having been presented that Chamisa had won the election. None at all. The country was being burnt down just because Chamisa claimed that he had won and his supporters believed him. No proof, I repeat.

He then asked his supporters to "defend the vote". What did that mean? It meant exactly what we saw happening: people out in the street destroying property and throwing missiles.

The Zimbabwe government reacted and their reaction was over the top. (By the way, it is interesting that during the week that this was happening, Israel was also busy firing live bullets at Palestinian protesters over there in Middle East.)

But Chamisa was determined to stage what he and Tendai Biti had coined "the people's coup".

Demagogues are very good at this. And they are also very good at portraying themselves as the victims. Ask Adolf Hitler, the fascist who formed a paramilitary force before he became leader of Germany. The purpose, he said, was to defend his supporters against the attacks on their meetings by Communists and Weimar Republic government soldiers.

That organisation, fueled by the oxygen of Hitler's popularity, intolerance and incendiary language, ended up masterminding the murder of 6 million Jews in concentration camps. The SS. It appears we have pretty much the same situation now confronting Zimbabwe.

Demagogues take advantage of irrational suspicions to weaken key institutions of the state, foment resentment and whip masses into hysteria by labelling anyone with a view to contrary to theirs "captured" or "bribed" or a host of others designed to dehumanise and discredit.

The callous and illegal action by soldiers on the streets of Harare, captured on camera and beamed around the world, do nothing to diminish the culpability of Nelson Chamisa himself.

He is in the process of building a personality cult. It's the most dangerous type of personality cult: one not coming out of any superhuman achievement or substance. The problem is that Chamisa appears to be believing that he is indeed superhuman. Can do no wrong. Always right. Morally superior.

We should like to see someone ask Mr Chamisa and his supporters if he has ever made a mistake in his life. The answer from him and his supporters is no, he has never made one. He is Jesus. He is anointed.

And when he fails to walk on water, they will blame his failure to walk on water on the water being captured and bribed by ZANU PF.

So, to repeat, the situation in Zimbabwe has not been caused by a government that has allowed its soldiers to shoot at protesters, a government that is beating up people using its soldiers.

What we have now is a government trying to to contain a violent "people's coup" premised on the lie that Nelson Chamisa won the election.

Because they have an entire list of people who had been hired to coordinate and implement this chaos, the government is now going into the suburbs of Harare and other cities looking for the leaders of this illegal insurrection.

The reason why the world appears to be "silent" can also be put at Chamisa's feet. You see, having been caught out by international community lying about the results of the election, inciting his followers with his words, the world is now very suspicious of anything that the MDC Alliance says. The world is not being fooled this time around. They are refusing to believe and run with the well-worn victim role playing the MDC has been engaged in for a decade or more now."

And that boils down to one thing: the world no longer believes Mr Chamisa and his party.




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