The dictator’s handbook – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

Source: The dictator’s handbook – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd October 2020

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President Mnangagwa appears to have launched the final stage of his plan to eliminate the opposition. This is the obvious inference from the wild accusations made by State Security Minister Owen Ncube. He claimed that the opposition, working with Zanu PF dissidents and Western forces, was planning to import guns to destabilise the country.

Taking a leaf out of Trump’s twitter account, Ncube said: ‘The country’s detractors have been concocting fake news of factionalism in the ruling party Zanu PF, feeding churches with fake news of a “crisis” and also trying to close the country’s borders, something that would have them declared as traitors in some countries.

‘We are watching attempts to drive Zimbabwe into chaos. Some rogue elements among us are conniving with some hostile Western governments to smuggle guns and set-up so-called democratic resistance committees that are, for all intents and purposes, violent militia groups. These plans are key components of ‘Operation Lighthouse’, the brainchild of one Western power, that seeks to destroy the democratic foundations of Zimbabwe, make the country ungovernable and justify foreign intervention.’ (See: https://www.herald.co.zw/plot-against-zim-exposed/.)

The paranoid raving comes as the government booted another 10 MDC MPs out of parliament, claiming they were not the proper opposition. And it follows the recent publication of an article by former senior MDC official  Alex Magaisa, who is now a law lecturer in the UK.

In the article, Magaisa quotes Mnangagwa as saying, even before he became President, ‘We must be respected. We are the majority. We are the people. We are the government. We are the army. We are the air force. We are the police. We are everything you can think of.’

Magaisa says: ‘the words represented Mnangagwa’s vision of his kind of state; a typically totalitarian state in which the ruling party controls virtually everything and the opposition plays a meaningless role. For Mnangagwa, the opposition is no more than a nuisance. If it is to be allowed, it is merely for purposes of appearances — a gimmick to hoodwink the rest of the world. If it cannot be obliterated, it must be controlled.

‘This is a state in which critique of the government is not permitted. Citizens must toe the line. It is a system where patronage dominates, ahead of merit. There is a very small caste of elites which is engaged in a process of grand accumulation of personal wealth on the back of public resources.’ (See: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2020/09/27/how-mnangagwa-is-plotting-to-take-over-opposition-in-zim/.)

Dismissing Ncube’s accusations MDC Alliance spokesman Clifford Hlatyway, said: ‘MDC Alliance are archbishops of peace. ZANU PF are the archbishops of violence.’ (See: https://www.voanews.com/africa/zimbabwe-opposition-dismisses-accusations-plot-topple-mnangagwa.)

Other Points:

  • Foreign ambassadors in Harare have protested at the treatment of the MDC Alliance MP Joana Mamombe who has been taken to jail from hospital where she was being treated for trauma. Ms Mamombe has been ordered to undergo two weeks of ‘psychiatric tests’ in the Chikurubi maximum security prison after being accused of making up claims that she was tortured and assaulted by government agents.
  • A Zimbabwean Adam Jogee has been elected mayor of the London Borough of Haringey. (For a photograph of him in his mayoral gear check: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/councillors-and-mps/mayors-page.) There are two other Zimbabweans on the Borough Council, including Vigil supporter Eldridge Culverwell who is the Deputy Mayor of Haringey.
  • Thanks to those who raised sponsorship money for the ROHR and Vigil Fundraising Walk of 29th August: Cynthia Chibanda £25, Rangarirai Chivaviro £20, Simbarashe Jingo £100, Garikai Mananje £50, Patricia Masamba £105.50, Benjamin Molife £150, Margaret Munenge £40 and Ephraim Tapa £230. Other contributors will be acknowledged in future diaries once their contributions are processed.
  • Because of the coronavirus we can no longer physically meet outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London, so we have a virtual Vigil while the restrictions continue. We ask our activists to put on Vigil / ROHR / Zimbabwe regalia and take a photo of themselves holding an appropriate poster reflecting our protest against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The photos are uploaded on our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/albums/72157716243703553.   Our virtual Vigil activist today was Rudo Takiya who kindly contributed to Vigil funds.
  • For Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website.

 

Notices:

  • ROHR’s Virtual Fundraising Party. Saturday 10th October from 7 – 9 pm. Great raffle prizes. RSVP: Charles Mararirakwenda 075788275745, Margaret Munenge 07379764249 and Garikai Mananje 07876586225.
  • The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions,
  • events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents us.
  • The Vigil’s book ‘Zimbabwe Emergency’ is based on our weekly diaries. It records how events in Zimbabwe have unfolded as seen by the diaspora in the UK. It chronicles the economic disintegration, violence, growing oppression and political manoeuvring – and the tragic human cost involved. It is available at the Vigil. All proceeds go to the Vigil and our sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe’s work in Zimbabwe. The book is also available from Amazon.
  • Facebook pages:

Vigil: https://www.facebook.com/zimbabwevigil

ROHR: https://www.facebook.com/Restoration-of-Human-Rights-ROHR-Zimbabwe-International-370825706588551/

ZAF: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Zimbabwe-Action-Forum-ZAF/490257051027515

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