Saturday, May 16, 2009

Something Has to Break Soon – or does it?

It is difficult to believe that a week ago Zimbabwe held a ‘Media Conference’ to chart the way forward for a new and open approach to media management. Since then the editor and a sub-editor of the only surviving independent newspaper in the country have been arrested and detained overnight in the notorious and seriously filthy police cells at Harare Central police station. Their crime? Reporting on the facts of a court process where certain police and others officers have been named by the court as those involved in the ‘arrest’ of several political activists. It is public knowledge that these activists were abducted and hidden from the world at large, more specifically from their lawyers, for weeks and in some cases months while the police authorities denied any knowledge of their disappearance.

Then we have the arrest yesterday of a human rights lawyer on allegations of ‘obstructing the course of justice’ after he allegedly connived with a ‘junior’ High Court official to facilitate the rerelease on bail of a photo-journalist and other aide’s to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirayi. The junior aide has also been arrested and incarcerated with her child at Chikurubi maximum security prison. Like most of those arrested over the past twelve months for ‘treason’, ‘terrorism’ and other acts of ‘banditry’ we can expect that in the fullness of time either these people will never get to have their crimes heard in a court of law, or if by some miracle they do in, probably, twelve months from now they will be acquitted through ‘lack of evidence’

But when one reads that the first resolution of the media conference was that ‘illegal sanctions must be lifted in order to facilitate media freedom’ one realises what is going on here. It’s just another ZANU PF talk shop to attempt to justify their sheer stupidity.

Then this week we have the President welcoming a delegation from the ‘Democratic’ Peoples Republic of Korea where the President and later the Commissioner of Police, Augustine Chiuri explain to the delegation that the reason Zimbabwe is out with the begging bowl is because Western sponsored illegal sanctions have devastated the economy.

Inviting the DPRK to Zimbabwe at this time of supposed political reconciliation is naïve in the extreme. Many thousands of Zimbabweans suffered at the hands of the DPRK trained 5th Brigade in the 1980’s, thirty thousand Matabele were killed and are not here to remember anything, but others who survived have long memories of the atrocities perpetrated on themselves and their families. Not surprisingly there is a wave of anxiety from ordinary citizens and a demand that the DPRK delegation go home in a hurry. And just what does the President and his ZANU PF think the DPRK are going to bring to the economic regeneration of Zimbabwe? Not a lot when they cannot feed themselves either.

But Morgan Tsvangirai treads on, step by step, trying to create a new future with little action and far too many conciliatory words about his opponents and their continuing efforts to place road blocks in the path of progress. How long can he continue with this charade?

Something has to break soon. Or does it? After all, this is Zimbabwe where talk is cheap, action is little, plans are made but never implemented and the future takes care of itself while ordinary people suffer more instead of less.

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