“Zimbabwe Is Far From Being A Democracy”
4 August 2021

By Prince Njagu- Three years on, and the soldiers that the ZANU PF led regime unleashed on protesters in the aftermath of the stolen general elections, have since not been bought to justice.

At least six civilians were killed on this fateful day, scores more injured and put behind bars for exercising a constitutional right which now seems to be existence only on  paper.

In 2019 Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said; despite the fact that the alleged perpetrators were identified through the media and social media videos and pictures, no one has been apprehended. It has been more than three years now and nothing has since been done.

If the Zimbabwean government was committed to human rights, the wheels of justice should have turned in the past three years, brings these perpetrators forward and making them answer for their heinous crimes. The ZANU PF led regime can still turn the wheels and bring the perpetrators to booking if there is any hope in the judicial system in the country.

Activist Sandra Bvungidzire said; “Justice delayed is justice denied”.

The fact that soldiers can actually be let loose to go and butcher unarmed citizens by a government shows how brutal the current ZANU PF crop is and how low the rule of law has disintergrated in the ountry.

Not even a single soldier has been put before the courts to answer for these heinous crimes, not even for firing live ammunition on unarmed civilians. The soldiers killed and brutally assaulted civilians who were exercising their constitutional right. Zimbabwean citizens can  take up to the streets according to the constitutional provisions.

Soldiers are there to protect civilians and not to be used as weapons to silence protestors when they are expressing discontent.

Only in a dictatorship would a government use soldiers to disperse demonstrators, and only during a war should they use live rounds.

And only in a dictatorship does a government not bring to justice soldiers that open fire on unarmed civilians exercising their constitutional rights.

Recent human rights violations in Zimbabwe show that these constitutional provisions are on paper, and they are meant to fool the international community.  If an activist or opposition member voices discontent, they are put behind bars, tortured or they vanish.

The ZANU PF regime will always mask its inhuman behaviors by preaching the gospel of democracy in the country, but such authoritarian behaviours point to dictatorship rule.

In recent months activist Makomborero was languishing in prison from April 2021, were he was serving a 14-month jail term. He was convicted of inciting public violence after he had demonstrated with colleagues demanding the release of ZINASU president Takudzwa Ngadziore.

MDC Alliance National spokesperson Advocate Fadzayi Mahere expressed her discontent at the death of democracy in the country as she said:

I am disappointed that Mako’s liberty was unduly curtailed. He is innocent. It is not a crime to demand a better society.

Such arrests, tortures, killings and abductions are why Zimbabwe is being described by many human rights defenders and party colleagues as a blow to democracy.

MDC Alliance vice president Hon Lynette Karenyi-Kore paid tribute to the six civilians who were killed by the soldiers on August 1, 2018.

Karenyi-Kore called for a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims who lost their lives on this fateful day.

“I call upon all Zimbabweans , to pause for a minute of silence in remembrance of those who fell victim on 1 August 2018,” said Lynette Karenyi-Kore.

August has become a difficulty month for many Zimbabweans as it earmarks the beginning of the Emmerson Mnangagwa led dictatorship which resumed with the spilling of unarmed civilians blood.

The ZANU PF regime has remained silent and fails to acknowledge its failings in as far as upholding the basic requirements of a democracy.

The soldiers that killed and tortured civilians should have been bought to justice. The person who authorised the unleashing of terror on the streets should have been held accountable.

Amnesty International in August 2019 said, “The tragedy of the post-election shootings is compounded by the fact that no one in the army suspected to be responsible for the bloodshed has been held to account for these brutal killings”.

If ZANU PF is a democracy they should under no circumstances allow further impunity and cover ups for the killings. No one should be untouchable in Zimbabwe if the country wants to become a human rights respecting society, especially for violating human rights