Zim deserves better
FORTY decades after independence it can’t be further from the truth that Zimbabwe deserves a better leadership than the one dominating the country’s political terrain.
This is more evident, when fierce political contestation among the main parties Zanu PF and the MDC has taken an ugly turn.
Such was flooding the current national debate at the expense of the spiraling Covid-19 cases that beg for a united national response as they threaten thousands of lives in our communities.
The opposition points a finger at Zanu PF, accusing it of abusing its power of incumbency in a desperate ploy to completely destroy it.
And most of those in the urban communities believe that … to be more precise… they believe in Nelson Chamisa’s leadership, come what may.
That events at the courts as leaders battle it out for control and decimation of parties have now gained more prominence over events in hospitals and quarantine centres, is indeed shameful.
Our social media space, which is a very critical and influential mirror of events in our communities, point to a leadership rot in our country.
In the absence of political moves that unite the nation, social media has taken a cue from the narrow interests of our political leaders.
Content from the opposition party and a loose collection of groups, networks and individuals that aggressively confront what they believe to be an authoritarian government is dominating the social media space.
While protestors may want to be peaceful, there have been several instances where encounters between them and security agents have turned violent.
This has left the activists with no option but to be more aggressive, a situation that does not bode well for peaceful and democratic political leadership transitions in the country.
Also of concern is that while the original aim of political activists is to protest and dissuade bad governance, but the use of violent tactics against their adversaries can create a vicious, self-defeating cycle of attacks, counter-attacks and blame.
This is why some civil rights organisations are now criticizing these tactics as dangerous and counterproductive.
That the current political climate increases the chances of violent confrontations at protests and rallies, can’t be ignored.
What compounds the situation is that our law enforcement agents are being accused of curtailing civil rights by disproportionately and brutally focusing their resources on peaceful individuals who just want their voices to be heard.
However, this violence that undermines democratic norms will play into the “victimhood” narrative of the opposition and ends up being a powerful propaganda tool.
The danger is that these unacceptable tactics by the security agents may lead to even more extreme violence by the protestors as they spread their ideologies of emancipation and intimidate other peaceful citizenry, and undermine democratic norms.
Such heavy-handedness by the security agents in managing civil unrest is actually a potential source of more domestic strife in the country.
The danger is that it may create many anti-police anarchists who can also target law enforcement agents with both verbal and physical assaults in the belief that the police are providing cover for a dictatorship.
They may also engage in “doxxing,” that is exposing their adversaries’ identities, addresses, jobs and other private information.
This can lead to their families to be harassed, among other consequences, as the victims and their sympathisers respond with doxxing campaigns that perpetuate hateful and violent narratives using fake social media accounts.
Let’s pray that it shall be a well, for all of us. We are confident that if we all unite for the good of our country, it shall be well for Zimbabwe.