By Jacqueline Sibanda
FROM independence, the nationalist government did not intend to hand over power to any other organisation that was not Zanu PF.
One of the major occupations of the government in the 1980s was the creation of a one-party state.
The earliest signs of opposition were the continued existence of ZAPU and then the formation of Zimbabwe United Movement, (ZUM) headed by Edgar Tekere.
The response to Tekere was the known saying “ZUM will zoom itself into doom”. The formation of the ZCTU in 1981 was a farce, an attempt to control labour. By the 1990s, ZANU PF under Mugabe was right on course to ensuring that there was an absence of discerning voices.
In order to hold on to power, ZANU PF has had to use force. A small number of rogue ex-freedom fighters gave ZANU PF the excuse to kill 20 000 innocent civilians, an incident later dismissed as a “moment of madness”, to teach Joshua Nkomo and his supporters the consequences of opposing the status quo.
In 1987, the unity accord was signed; another farce that only served the Mugabe regime and at least stopped the killing of innocent civilians. Urban protests/riots/strikes were always quilled by force, violence and arrests.
Violence continued way into the 1990s particularly during the Fast Track Land Reform Program, the 2002, 2005 and the brutal 2008 election violence episodes.
The urbanites had to endure Operation Murambatsvina in 2005. In Chiadzwa, an estimated 600 people lost their lives during the gold rush that was led by the military.
The real awakening for the ruling party came in the year 2000 after the NCA and the Movement for Democratic Change successfully campaigned for the no-vote in the constitutional referendum.
A string of repressive laws used by Ian Smith resurfaced under Mugabe – LOMA turned POSA and the infamous Presidential (Temporary Measures) Act. Through these instruments, opposition members have been intimidated, tortured, intimidated and killed.
Innocent citizens have been “punished”, remember Operation Mavhotera Papi – which has now resurfaced after the 2018 election.
Zimbabwean politics has never been peaceful because ZANU PF has no intention of letting go of the feeding trough.
Space does not allow me to discuss the role of other players in Zimbabwe’s political crisis. l am also a firm believer in that it is only Zimbabweans that can change their fate.
The reason l am reminding people of this is so that we ponder upon the options that the MDC has.
Let us be quick to remember that the people holding the whole nation to ransom are the people in ZANU PF. Most of them have been in the military and government since 1980 and they have not changed. They will hold onto power at any cost, even if it costs you and me our lives.
Time and space does not allow me to discuss the role of other players in Zimbabwe’s political crisis. l am also a firm believer in that it is only Zimbabweans that can change their fate. The reason l am reminding you of this history is because you should remember that the same ZANU PF that has been at the forefront of unleashing violence in the past 38 years is unleashing the sad episodes happening in our country today.
Before you are quick to blame the MDC Alliance, remember that the party with a proven record of using violence and repression as a political tool is ZANU PF.
There is no external force, or animal or extra-terrestrial being that is unleashing violence in this country; its ZANU PF and its military.
That being said, all the stakeholders of the country called Zimbabwe, must remember that we have a country to protect and a country to rebuild. Unity remains the only tool that will ensure we rebuild our nation. Let players put aside the irresistible urge to be selfish and think of the nation.
The MDC will lose in the courts because ZANU PF has never known the rule of law by is the master architect of rule by law. The Alliance must therefore reveal the numbers that it has and let the court of public opinion decide.