Wednesday, 5 October 2016

After countless court challenges of demo bans Mugabe still got his wish. By W Mukori

Last month, September 2016, the Police announced that all street protests were banned for a period of two weeks. The banning orders were challenged in a Court of Law, rightly so too. Judge Priscilla Chigumba ruled that the official police notice was invalid.

Judge Chigumba’s judgement came just days after Mugabe had denounced judges for allowing street protests to continue. Ever since the country attained her independence, Mugabe and his Zanu PF regime have systematically denied the people of Zimbabwe their freedoms and basic human rights including the right to hold peaceful demonstrations, free vote and even the right to life!

The opposition and human rights camp, who had brought up the case celebrated. Tendai Biti who is the leader of one of the opposition parties, PDP, and was one of the lawyers for the plaintiff heralded the judgement   as proof of the independence of the judiciary.

“A brave judgement that asserts the independence of the courts,” said Tendai Biti, waving the judgement to the excitable opposition crowd. Echoes from history!
"Peace for our time" is the phrase spoken by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on 30 September 1938 on his return from signing the Munich Agreement with the Germany’s war-monger, Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain was echoing British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who, upon returning from the Congress of Berlin in 1878, stated, "I have returned from Germany with peace for our time".

PM Chamberlain was a naïve man who lived in his own dreamland divorced from the real world. His words have gone down in history for their tragic irony because in less than a year the UK and soon many, many other countries will be at war following Hitler’s continued aggression and invasion of Poland.

Mugabe did not give Tendai Biti and his band of naïve supporter a month to remind them that he, Mugabe, is a tyrant and there is no such thing as an independent judiciary in his Zimbabwe.

Very few people were surprised that a few days after Judge Chigumba’s ruling the Police were making yet another announcement banning street protests. The same naïve utopian idealists dutiful challenged the ban in the courts and, this time, they were finally put in their place!  

 “On 4 October 2016, Judge President George Chiweshe dismissed with costs, two urgent chamber applications seeking to set aside a proclamation by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to ban marches and demonstrations in Harare Central District,” reported The Zimbabwean.

“The application had been filed under case number HC 9469/16 filed on 17 September by   ZLHR lawyers Tendai Biti  and Dzimbabwe Chimbga on behalf of Zimbabwe Divine Destiny – a church and Democratic Assembly for Restoration and Empowerment (DARE), National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and Stendrick Zvorwadza (a political party, civic organisations and a citizen respectively).”

The new constitution still gives Mugabe “excessive powers” as Senator David Coltart has finally admitted in his book The Struggle Continues 50 years of tyranny in Zimbabwe. Mugabe “dictated the new constitution”, granting himself the excessive powers, as Zanu PF MP Paul Mangwana who was the co-chair of the parliamentary committee that drafted the new constitution later boasted.

It is naïve to think Mugabe, a ruthless tyrant that he is, would not use the excessive powers to deny the people their basic human rights and freedoms to gratify his insatiable hunger for absolute power and the fabulous wealth it has brought to his family and cronies. He does not care how much suffering and deaths his selfish greed has brought to millions of ordinary Zimbabweans.
We must demand the full implementation of all the democratic reforms as envisaged in the 2008 GPA and stop wasting time tinkering with each individual section and clause of a weak and feeble constitution. The primary purpose of all this tinkering is to appease the tyrant whilst giving the gullible and naïve audience false hope.

How ironic that people like Tendai Biti never seem to learn from history, even their own blundering mistakes. We should not forget that it was Tendai Biti and his MDC friends who failed to implement even one democratic reform during the five years of the GNU to appease Mugabe. Now they are at it again!


  1. Having a tyrannical ruling party like Zanu PF has been a curse but having a weak and feeble opposition has turned the curse into a national tragedy. We have had this corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF dictatorship for 36 years and of all people our opposition politicians should know that state institution like the ZEC, Police, judiciary, etc. have all been corrupted to the core.

    It is therefore shocking that someone like Tendai Biti would ignore the regime's history of ruthless tyranny to heap praise of "independent judiciary" on the basis of one isolated case. Now the regime has thrown out isolated case and Tendai Biti and company are sitting there dumb founded twiddling their thumbs!

    1. "Having a tyrannical ruling party like Zanu PF has been a curse but having a weak and feeble opposition has turned the curse into a national tragedy," you said. You have hit the nail on the head there!

  2. @ Stobart

    Please explain where is the hypocrisy in saying "it is naive to think that Mugabe would not use his excessive powers to deny the people their rights and freedoms"?

    Your trouble is that you have never understood what the GNU was about and all repeated efforts to explain to you what it was about have been a waste of time because, like so many other MDC supporters and leaders, your brain is impermeable to reason.

    President Mugabe claimed the 2008 elections were free, fair and credible and that he had won them and would have gone on to set up his administration but the whole international community including the AU and SADC rejected his claim to victory given the whole election process was marred by the blatant vote rigging and wanton violence. SADC made it clear to Mugabe they would not accept his administration as legitimate; forcing him form the GNU was the compromise solution.

    The primary task of the GNU was to implement a raft of democratic reforms and to draft a new DEMOCRATIC constitution so that Zimbabwe’s next elections and all future elections are free, fair and credible. Not even one reform was implemented and the new constitution was “dictated” by President Mugabe and therefore a tyrant’s decree!

    Of course Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends took their eyes off the ball and “were busy enjoying being in government and forgot why they were there,” as SADC leaders rightly pointed out.

    MDC sold-out in failing to get even one democratic reform implemented and to argue that nothing “other than outright chaos will see Mugabe change or leave office, nothing not even AU, not even SADC, nothing but brute force,” only serves to confirm MDC leaders were in the GNU for selfish gain. They never believed any of the reforms could be implemented and hence never even tried!

    All this talk of National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA) by the opposition parties is just empty talk none of them believe in any of the reforms and hence the reason why none of them have ever bothered to give any details of even one reform.

    Even if the people should risk life and limp to elect anyone of these opposition parties into power as the nation did in 2008, the nation can be sure of one thing not even one reform will be implemented to end the country’s cursed culture of political violence and vote rigging!

    If the people of Zimbabwe want a free and democratic Zimbabwe they have to look for competent leaders with common sense; the current crop of corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders will never ever deliver any democratic change!

    1. There three things to be said here:

      1) SADC definitely believe the reforms, if fully implemented, would have delivered free and fair elections otherwise they would not have invested so much of their time reminding MDC leaders to implement the reforms. As a last act of desperation, they told MDC leaders not to take part in the elections without implementing the reforms; sadly their advice was ignored.

      2) If MDC leaders never believed for one minute that GPA roadmap would succeed then why did they go along and join the GNU? It must have been for the ministerial cars, the $4 million Highlands mansion for Tsvangirai, the former white owned farm for Welshman Ncube and all the other trappings of power because they certainly accept these.

      3) Tsvangirai has admitted that MDC did not implement any reforms because the party believed it would win the election regardless of the Zanu PF "shenanigans". Of course they were naive because they were overwhelmed by the shenanigans and the opportunity to implement the reforms was lost at great price to the nation. The question then is why are you telling us this sorry hen's teeth tale to explain why MDC did not implement the reforms? You should be holding MDC's account for betraying the nation and not be their apologist!

    2. It is not all who see who perceive and it is not all who hear who understand; our friend is one of those whose mental eyes have been plucked out and mental ears filled with wax and it has set like concrete, he will never perceive nor understand anything.

      There are thousands of Zimbabweans just like Stobart, all hard wired to follow whatever leader is placed before them no questions asked which is why the nation is in this mess. The real tragedy is we are stuck, as long as we have sheep like Stobart this nation is not going to get out of this hell-hole!

    3. Stobart, you have failed to understand what the GPA was, how the GNU was supposed to work, what were the reform and how they were to be implemented. But in typical fashion of the presumptive ignorant consider yourself competent to pronounce judgement on whether or not the GPA, GNU and reforms would have worked. It is totally pointless arguing with someone like that!

  3. @ Mikis

    Nonsense! President Mugabe had his hands tied behind his back during the GNU and SADC were ready to flex its muscle to force him to honour the GPA. The only reason why not even one reform was implemented was because people like Tsvangirai were distracted with all that gallivanting, chasing women of ill repute, the $4 million Highlands mansion bribe, etc., etc. It is little wonder that not even one reform proposal was ever tabled in five years, he just did not have the time to do anything else - President Mugabe saw to it that he was overwhelmed by the gravy train goodies!

    We used brute force to end white colonial oppression and look what we replace it with - nincompoops like Jabulani Sibanda, Victor Matemadanda, Chris Mutsvangwa, etc. who were freedom fighters one day and murderous thugs the next! Even with the benefit of 36 years of Zanu PF corrupt and tyrannical rule these idiots still believe they have a right to deny everyone else their basic freedoms and rights including the right to free, fair and credible elections. These rogue war veterans are ready to terrorize the nation forcing them to vote for Mnangagwa just as they have done for Mugabe.

    Whoever you get to help you use brute force out of office will become the new generation of the rogue war veterans! The GNU offered the chance to end the Zanu PF dictatorship peacefully just because you are too stupid to see that chance does not mean the chance was not there. The worsening economic situation is forcing Zanu PF to accept that the present situation cannot continue; whether Mugabe likes it or not Zanu PF is imploding. So why would anyone risk life and limp fighting a regime that is on its way out already?

    The challenge here is making sure we have a good system to replace the dictatorship.

    It is not surprising that opposition leaders like Tsvangirai are wasting time fighting Zanu PF in the street; they are too stupid to realize the regime is dying anywhere and too stupid to realize the challenge is formulating what political system to replace the dictatorship with!

  4. @ Stobart

    We have covered this ground before with you maintaining that the implementing the democratic reforms could not have ended the Zanu PF dictatorship but have failed explain why. I have done my best to explain how the reforms should have been implemented and once implemented I fail to see why they would not work.

    You are locked up in your own barbaric world where the only solution to all the world's problems is brute force!

  5. @ Mikis

    You agree with Stobart do you? But before you take out your sledge hammer answer me this: do you agree that if MDC had implemented the democratic reforms during the GNU we would have had free and fair elections in 2013? So why would you want to use brute force to solve a problem you could have solved without using force?

  6. @ Stobart

    So you think Mugabe went into the GNU because he wanted a change of scene, he wanted to share power because he was tired of exercising absolute power? Your lack of common sense is legendary!