Mugabe's Zanu PF Afraid Of What Might Happen Next

Mugabe's Zanu PF Afraid Of What Might Happen Next
Published: 2016 September 05 13:26:03 (2802 Views)

Ordinary Zimbabweans, analysts and opposition parties say the move by President Robert Mugabe’s government this week to ban all demonstrations in Harare show clearly that the ruling Zanu PF is in “serious panic” and that much-needed change is around the corner.

Speaking to a local publication yesterday, all the interviewees said the jittery Zanu PF’s mooted plans to also amend the country’s new Constitution to remove clauses which legalise demonstrations also confirmed that its bigwigs knew that their days in office were now numbered.

Respected University of Zimbabwe lecturer Eldred Masunungure, was among those who revealed that although the imposition of the ban was done within the confines of the law, it was the “clearest sign yet that Zanu PF has pressed the panic baton”.

“It is clear they are panicking. This shows that they have lost control and have now imposed the ban in a localised area, Harare. This is a localised state of emergency which falls short of a national one, which they would like to impose.

“They are testing the waters to see if anyone can challenge the imposition of the ban. They also want to see if the two-week period can have the desired effect.

“This is a pilot programme to see how they can ensure that their intervention will be effective.

“From the various reactions by senior party officials and also the State media, they have been rattled and these are the measures meant to contain a difficult situation.

“It suggests that the authorities have taken the issue seriously as they fear there could be an escalation of tensions and eventually an Arab Spring of sorts,” Masunungure said.

“The provision in Posa (Public Order and Security Act), under which the order was issued allows bans to run only for a specified period of no more than one month.

“Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that the ban will not be renewed upon expiry,” University of Kent law lecturer, Alex Magaisa, said on his blog.

“To that extent, it is probable that the ban may become permanent rather than a temporary feature in Harare. This is reminiscent of the 1980s Zimbabwe when the state of emergency was renewed every six months.

“If Mugabe wants to declare a state of emergency, then he must do so using the appropriate constitutional provisions. The easiest ground to dismiss the Statutory instrument 101A is that it violates section 134 (b.) of the Constitution which prohibits statutory instruments from contravening fundamental rights.

“The second is that it violates the right to human dignity, which is an inviolable right,” Magaisa added, warning that if the statute was allowed to stand, it could open the floodgates for Zanu PF to use subsidiary pieces of legislation and further endanger democracy in the country.

Former State Security minister and founding member of the Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) party Didymus Mutasa said the police ban had the net effect of “galvanising” Zimbabweans and opposition parties.

“This ban has actually galvanised demonstrators. People are saying that the government is now scared and using laws that were used by Smith,” Mutasa said.

Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme, citing the famous French writer Victor Hugo’s quotation that “you cannot stop an idea whose time has come”, said public anger against Mugabe and Zanu PF would “eventually explode”.

“It seems we do not learn from history. Everything the Zanu PF regime is doing, from draconian laws, police brutality, arrests, abductions, enforced disappearances and state of emergency-like measures were all tried and used by the Smith regime but failed to stifle the liberation struggle.

“Why would they work now,” Saungweme queried further.

- Daily News

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