By Ron Muvevererwi – Events preceding the formation of the coalition government between the three principals to the GPA have seen a relentless continued stranglehold of influence on the security forces by one political party arguably at the expense of national interest. Despite the fact that the coalition government was negotiated under the spirit of ‘inclusivity’ that has not been the case characterizing the order of the day. Each party is caught up in a dog eat dog survival of the fittest encounter.
The security forces and the judiciary are the key main components to which the success of the transition agenda weighs. Independence of the two arms of the state has been a subject of contestations as ZANU Pf continues to signal its intent of entertaining any overtures of laying
off their control on the uniformed forces: the army, the police, state intelligence, ministries of defense, home affairs and communications at the centre of rampant accusations of undermining of the rule of law by these institutions. Unmistakable the resolve by ZANU to pursue a ravenous unrepentant stance means they have put their cards splashed on the deck- their artisan interest to defend the regime supersedes national interest.
Over the years ZANU has built an ideology unfortunately an entire oppressive system of resistance against change. Broadened into a root structure system, it has grown into a powerful demonic force that one can not dare underestimate its impact. A system that is designed to foil any attempt that is against its values, culture and time span defying the winds of change. The secret of undoing this demonic force lies wherein replacing the very mindset that it represent with the one that should replace it rather than ultimately getting wrapped up in addressing its impact.
Having been subjected to a violent system that it fought to overthrow, it assumed the same mechanism then and throughout its life span everything then has to do with militancy, violence, monopoly, resistance, selfishness, aggression, authoritarian. The mindset has refused renewal and slowly become redundant.
ZANU understands that without the control of security forces, the core partners to the coalition government are toothless bull dogs. Despite any efforts to push for democratic reforms and account for the past legacy of corruption and violence, its met with the system and structures.
The politicization of national events further divides the nation at the backdrop of the much needed unity of purpose to stir the country on a path of a stabilized transformation mode. Persistent contravention of the GPA by the dormant forces in the coalition government is clear revelation of sheer lack of political will towards the wave of democratization in the transition. For too long ZANU Pf has hide behind the adage of coercively posing as the sole liberator and legitimate patron of the Zimbabwean people to whom people remain indebted through the manipulation of the media and the police in political campaigns.
Deliberately the issue of transitional justice was down played in the GPA at the height of moves to protect dominant parties implicated in gross post independence human rights abuses. It is unequivocal that attempts on blanket amnesty on the past wrongs will not bring
sustainable peace evidenced by the spiraling impunity which has become institutionalized to haunt and terrorize innocent citizens.
For the people of Zimbabwe, the transition will `be cyclic process with a pre-determined outcome dashing the hopes of many who placed hope of a new dawn from this historic political dispensation. Equality of all citizens before the law remains a cause of concern. Allegations of selective application of the law are still besieging the coalition government. Human rights defenders, students, lawyers, journalist, political activist and all those deemed critical of the government continue to be harassed with impunity, arbitrarily arrested and subjected to degrading inhuman treatment in deliberate efforts to snuff any attempts on demands for transparency and accountability.
Dogged by the identity crisis of what is the dominant force among the three political parties to the GPA.The coalition government has been operating way below capacity due to the division of priorities, efforts, commitment and energies towards national developments. The constitution making process and the national healing exercises are two key indicators to measure the success of the ongoing efforts of the coalition government. Regrettably enough, national events have been heavily politicized. Predictably and shocking enough as it may be, the security forces are alleged to be part of the sabotaging efforts with reports that uniformed forces were reported to be deployed to intimidate people from participating freely in the ongoing constitutional outreach.
Organized state sponsored intimidation fed from political intolerance is still widespread in politically charged communities around the country.
Emerging from a decade of conflict and a painful legacy of violence, the coalition government should place the respect of human rights, people’s freedom and justice at the centre of developmental issues at all times.