A political analyst, Davis Laque, has exposed the false narrative being peddled by government apologists on social media, that it was “business as usual” this Friday, 31 July.
Laque argues that the arrest of journalists and activists, the heavy deployment of soldiers and police in townships, and the closure of the central district business, among other things, shows that it’s not business as usual. He posted on Twitter:
How is it “business as usual” when your paranoia resulted in the militarization of the streets, the CBD & the ghettos? What’s so “business as usual” about abductions & a “night of long knives” targeting journalists & activists? What’s so “business as usual” about a shutdown?
It’s one thing to say a demo was “unsuccessful”.. yet its another to normalize a shutdown. The arrest of journalists, activists & the clampdown on dissidents all exposes this shallow propaganda. Zim was effectively shut down by the government. There’s no other explanation.
It’s equally sad that the perpetrators of violence will pay a blind eye to human rights abuses, experienced all over Zimbabwe throughout this week. This should be the correct documentation of what happened in line with #31stJuly, everything else is embarrassing spin.
So really, citizens decided to exercise their constitutional right to demonstrate, a right which can’t be stopped by a statutory instrument. The State decided to replace it with a national shutdown. There’s nothing “business as usual” about both. They send the same message.
So really, you can’t address numerous pressers feeding your supporters the dogma that members of the Opposition are planning to attack them… You can’t then have your party vigilantes attacking defenceless citizens unprovoked, & then christen that “business as usual”!
But rather, more importantly, you can’t militarize communities & then say citizens “chose to stay indoors”. They only did this out of fear of being butchered. You can’t force the citizens to stay indoors away from their socio-economic activities & call this “business as usual”.
Critically, however, it has not been “business as usual” just today, 31st July. It hasn’t been “business as usual” in Zim for quite a long time. Corrective action should address this #BusinessUnusual. But it takes Leadership & there’s a deficiency of this in Harare.