Deadly unrest rocks Zim

via Deadly unrest rocks Zim – DailyNews Live 15 March 2015 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Unrest and a morbid spirit of lawlessness among Zimbabweans, fed by escalating anger against President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government, is fast spreading around the country, with the latest ruckus being last Friday’s deadly mutiny at Harare’s maximum security prison, Chikurubi.

Analysts and opposition political parties who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday said they feared that the country could soon become completely ungovernable if all relevant role players — such as the government, political parties, churches and civil society organisations — did not move quickly to mitigate the volatile situation.

They said both the political and economic environments in the country — manifesting themselves in an increasingly polarised and tense atmosphere, looming national hunger, rising unemployment and renewed fear of the State — were presenting fertile ground for a failed State in the mould of Somalia.

Political scientist, Maxwell Saungweme, said the riots at Chikurubi were a clear sign not just of bad things to come, but of the dire state of affairs already prevailing in the country.

“Things are not well, with hunger and desperation everywhere in the country.  We are really reaching the boiling point now, with the latest events including the prison riots and the abduction of Itai Dzamara likely signalling the beginning of the end.

“There is anger everywhere and people can’t cope with the difficulties and tensions anymore. Anything is possible now,” Saungweme said.

Pointing to Zanu PF’s continuing factional and succession wars, as well as the country’s rising unemployment figures and plummeting social services, Saungweme said Zimbabwe was nearing its “Waterloo (a defining point in its history)”.

“You can’t fool people all the time and forever. One day something will give in,” he said.

The director of political think-tank Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), Pedzisai Ruhanya, also warned that the country was about to plunge into total chaos.

Writing on social media, Ruhanya said it was clear that Zimbabwe was hurtling towards unrest as the government was failing to protect its citizens.

“Smelling de javu in Zimbabwe. A rebellious smell/environment as a result of the worsening political economy and the criminal reaction of the State is gripping the nation, especially the failure by the ‘elected regime’ to address everyday livelihood questions,” he said.

And with the country’s opposition parties warring among themselves and ailing, Ruhanya said the time had come for pro-democracy movements to “re-group and capture the moment.”

“Various everyday forms of resistance and citizen agency are gathering moment. They require democratic drivers to have some Sarajevo incident,” he said.

In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Ruhanya said high levels of unemployment, which had resulted in Zimbabwe becoming a “monumental vendors’ country” was a recipe for disaster as the establishment was failing to respond to the daily needs of citizens.

“When people are hungry they will start to question the government. We have reached a point where people are starting to question the establishment,” Ruhanya said.

Political analyst Shepherd Mntungwa said while it was important that opinion makers did not become unnecessarily alarmist, the indications on the ground suggested that Zimbabwe was “on a knife-edge” with many people starting to take matters into their hands.

“Things are not looking good all round for Zimbabwe. So fouled is the body politic at the moment that emotions are hardening on both the ruling party side and that of the opposition, triggering fears that we could soon be back to the tense, violent days of 2008.

“On the part of citizens, there appears to be an increasing lack of confidence and trust in the State and its various apparatus, which is seeing more and more ordinary people taking matters into their hands, which is not good for anyone,” he said.

Apart from having to find urgent solutions to deal with an increasingly restive and poor population, Zanu PF is struggling to deal with an internal revolt by senior party officials that saw the brutal removal of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies from office.

In the Chikurubi incident last Friday, fed-up prisoners rioted against poor prison conditions, particularly the diet — while outside on Harare’s streets, usually peaceful Zimbabweans viciously turned on a municipal police officer who had allegedly caused an accident, in clear signs of national unrest.

The rioting at the overpopulated Chikurubi Maximum Prison also came two days after angry youths clashed with the police on Tuesday, as they demanded the release of pro-democracy activists Dzamara, who was  abducted from a Harare barber shop on Monday last week.

The High Court has since directed the country’s security agents to look for the 35-year-old critic of President Robert Mugabe’s 35-year-old reign.

Many analysts say the spreading turmoil and anarchy in the country also risks diverting the government’s attention from implementing much-needed economic reforms to lift Zimbabwe’s sluggish growth.

Spokesperson for the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC, Obert Gutu, said everything that was happening in the country pointed to the fact that even Zanu PF itself realised that it was on its way out of power.

“The regime is incorrigibly torn apart by viciously antagonistic and opposing factions within its ranks. The regime is collapsing.

“The Chikurubi Maximum Prison food riot of Friday, March 13, 2015 is symptomatic of a failed State.

“When you fail to adequately provide food for your prisoners it’s a clear sign that the wheels are coming off,” Gutu said.

With police being increasingly deployed on the streets to quell rising dissent and festering emotions, Gutu said without employing such brute force Mugabe and Zanu PF were finished.

“The Weevils faction has got close to zero grassroots support. It survives on the use of brute force, coercion, blackmail, subterfuge, and direct and indirect intimidation. Put simply, the Weevils faction is the fascist and totalitarian face of the regime.

“This is the end game. The next few months will re-define a new look Zimbabwe. Freedom is on the horizon. The dictatorship is seeing through its last days,” Gutu said.


  • comment-avatar
    Zvakwana 8 years ago

    Bring it on the time is now.

  • comment-avatar
    Collin Mackenzie 8 years ago

    Honestly who writes such untrue rubbish.

    God for give you for you do not know anything stupid fool.

  • comment-avatar
    Chanisa 8 years ago

    What deadly riots are rocking Zimbabwe? These armchair pontificaters must please give us a break. We have heard many similar alarmist comments before since Mavhaire said ‘the president must go’ and Zvobgo said ‘the government must dismount from the backs of the people’. The people of Zimbabwe have long been stupefied, and they have no capacity to do much but abscond or wait for Mugabe to die naturally. Make-believe scenarios require more of the likes of Dzamara to get any traction.

  • comment-avatar
    Kvanga 8 years ago

    Zimbabweans should aim there anger at the Mugabes, they should frog March him from his house and arrest him. gadaffi found his justice. There is no future in zimbabwe with him and his wife. Everyone invests elsewhere. Only then wil there be peace and prosperity

  • comment-avatar
    mupurisa 8 years ago

    Morgan, please, please, pick up the phone and call Biti, Dabengwa,Mujuru, Makoni and anybody who is somebody in Zim’s political landscape.
    Then put all your differences aside, however complicated the issues maybe, and sit down in a room together, and find a way to work together NOW!! Surely we can avoid any bloodshed, including the blood of ZANU PF supporters, just by standing together – SHOULDER TO SHOULDER TAKABATANA MAOKO TICHITI : HATICHAKUDI MDARA!!

  • comment-avatar
    kelly 8 years ago

    @mupurisa, u are just kidding , are u talking about the same Morgan who was this week trying to recall MDC mps. Clueless ,trying to make Zanu PF even more dominant instead of uniting at every cost he wants ZanuPF left to run the show with little opposition. He is selling out and not representing the interests of the people but wants to stand unchallenged at any cost.

    • comment-avatar
      Mupurisa 8 years ago

      Ok point taken @Kelly. It doesn’t matter who picks up the phone, but they need to sit down and thrash out their differences like mature adults, and do something positive & collectively for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. I don’t necessarily believe that Morgan is our potential saviour, but the truth whether one can stomach it or not, is that he is probably the most popular of all those people that stand opposing Mugabe & Company.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 8 years ago

    I read this report again. Are things as explosive and bad as to people resentment as it is made out to be by the various people quoted in the above report? If it is it could create chaos and to prevent a Somalia situation – the opposition leaders of different stripes better forget about their self-centered interests and work together to get a proper alternative to prevent chaos in Zimbabwe.

    Unless they work together their own interests will also go up in flames.

  • comment-avatar

    Those prisoners thought life was better outside.I think they should be told there is no difference.infact they dont pay rent, buy food or clothing. No reason jumping from the pot into the fire.

    • comment-avatar
      Matake 8 years ago

      Uri hama yangu iwe, Gonyohori, Matake, Webanga, Gono ravaDuma, Chirandu, Moyo.. Muridzi wenyika waka vaka Masvingo eZimbahwe..!!