Assaulting, arresting protesters barbaric, archaic

Images of activist, Patson Dzamara lying on a hospital bed, allegedly assaulted by unknown people, gripped the country on Friday afternoon, as the authorities’ propensity for using violence on dissenters emerged again.

Source: Assaulting, arresting protesters barbaric, archaic – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 21, 2016

This was followed by the arrest of people protesting against the introduction of bond notes, as Zimbabwe does its best to deserve the pariah state tag.

The level of paranoia in this country is running high all thanks to an insecure government, which knows its policies are unpopular, but still chooses to obstinately stick with them.

The government or its agencies can arrest and assault as many protestors, but this is akin to dealing with symptoms rather than the disease, as unemployment remains stubbornly high, there is hardly an economy to talk about and bond notes remain unpopular.

Instead of treating protesters as enemies, it is high time the government introspected and it would realise the activists are not the problem, but rather its policies and a disregard for principles of good governance are.

If the government was as diligent at fixing the economy, as it is at crushing dissent, then there is no doubt that Zimbabwe would be one of the most prosperous African nations, but unfortunately the reverse is true.

Arresting dissenters does not do the country any favours and diminishes its human rights status in foreign countries, where it has often taken the begging bowl, but with little or no success.

For example, the World Bank, which we have been courting for a while, set a number of benchmarks before it can formally engage Zimbabwe, among those are for the government to stop arresting activists, opposition politicians and journalists, but this country does not seem to be listening.

This means Zimbabwe’s chances of accessing aid and improving the economy continue to diminish because the government cannot exercise restraint.

Zimbabwe is desperate for help from anyone, but the government should not expect even a single cent, even from so-called all-weather friends, if it continues on this path.

Instead of being seen as a country on the road to reform, many world capitals could be thinking they cannot be seen to be doing business with a country that treats protestors in such a deplorable manner.

President Robert Mugabe, in whose name protests are crushed, should intervene now and stop the excesses of his government, before the country gets to a point of no return.

Assaulting and arresting protesters is not only archaic, but it is also barbaric and that is why our Constitution guarantees the right to protest.

What is the point of having a Constitution if we are to violate most of the rights in the Bill of Rights?

For the good of the country, Mugabe must listen to his people, he may think they are a minority, but their concerns need to be heard.

The economy is in a tailspin and joblessness runs high, two issues Mugabe needs to fix urgently to reduce tensions and protests.


  • comment-avatar
    Nhamodzenyika 6 years ago

    My man you may write even in blood red, this country’s leaders are now prisoners of the nation of Zimbabwe and the know quite well that they have already crossed the red line,so they don’t care , they will kill everyone perceived to be an opponent, like what Bashal Al Assard is doing in Syria, to stay in power at any cost. Imbwende dzinotya kuuraiwa mhosva dzaka parwa pa 36 years dzakawandisisa