Zim situation today: Peace not only the absence of war

Charles Mabhena

Zimbabweans are not at peace at all; this is despite the country not being at war.

Civic organisations, political parties, diplomatic missions and individuals yesterday commemorated the disappearance of civil society activist and leader of Occupy Africa Unity Square Itai Dzamara. This is just a tip of the iceberg.

Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe has a well documented track record of being a human rights violator. Mugabe has over the years used his CIOs to threaten citizens, enforce disappearances, or even kill.

He has used the law as tools of oppression, with his perceived opponents being judged harshly and selectively by the laws.

Analysts believe because of the type of rule Zimbabweans are living under, there is no peace of mind in them, and because factions in the corridors of power have now reached the common man on the street, this is enough recipe for discomfort.

Political analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya believes that whenever there is elements of power vacuum, where the centre no longer holds, people fall victim to competing factions and crime, and that at times this renders them mere voters who put leaders in office, but not citizens.

“There is no good reason to imagine that democracy incompatible with what we call functional authorisation,” he says.

In Zimbabwe human rights are trumped upon willy nilly by the authorities.

According to Mavambo Kusile Dawn (MKD) party leader Simba Makoni, Zimbabweans including Mugabe himself is also not at peace anymore because of envisaged disturbances. He believes even Grace Mugabe’s rants are motivated by fear one way or the other.

Commenting on the abduction of Dzamara that clocked 2 years period yesterday, the United States of America through its Embassy indicated that Zimbabwe has ingredients enough to undermine citizens’ peace of mind.

“This is not an issue of politics.  This is an issue of basic human rights and rule of law.  All citizens of Zimbabwe have the right to life and personal liberty, the right to participate in peaceful political activities, including the right to demonstrate and petition peacefully, and the right to express themselves freely and without repercussion,” Said a statement from the USA Embassy in Harare.

Dzamara went missing after being abducted by state agents. To date, the police have not done anything to unearth what happened to Dzamara, despite representation by Dzamara’s to the former CID Law and Order department boss, Assistant Commissioner Makedenge.