It is now fashionable to be abducted, tortured in Zimbabwe

Sibanengi Dube

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By Sibanengi Dube

It is now fashionable in Zimbabwe to be abducted and tortured. Yes! One has to be arrested or be in hiding for being hungry. Citizens are being charged for publicly complaining about starvation and corruption. Journalists are being abducted and charged for exposing corruption. The abnormal have been normalised as the state goes to war with citizens.

The list of citizens who have been abducted and tortured is growing exponentially by day. These are now daily occurrences which are becoming societal norms. No one is safe anymore. Cousin to journalist Mduduzi Mathuthu, Tawanda Muchehiwa was severely tortured for failing to locate the whereabouts of his uncle. He is now fighting for his life in hospital after suffering a renal failure. Muchehiwa’s experience is being shared by hundreds of other Zimbabweans who have been hunted down and tortured.

Scenes of Police brutalising citizens are now common sights in Zimbabwe

Nocturnal Social media alerts ring everyday as political activists and journalists alert the world about their abductions. These alerts are expected everyday. Like sheep being pounced on by jackals, Zimbabweans are being picked one by one every night for torture sessions.

“There is police at the door, or Sate agents are breaking in or I am have been arrested,” are now buzz choruses as Zimbabweans get picked at dawn or in the middle of the night by state sponsored merchants of death.

The same applies to the list of those who have taken refuge in the bush in fear of the painful octopus grip of the military arm. Why should anyone be in the bush outside times of war? Why should be an arrest be viewed as a death sentence? I now understand why ED avoided arrest at whatever cost by openly fleeing away. Once under capture, life ceases to be a right, but an accident.

Even those who are absorbing the pangs of hunger in silent are not safe anymore. Soldiers are invading homes of the starving and sleeping citizens in the middle of the nights to administer a few claps, jabs and military kicks just to instill fear in the general populace. On Saturday night Dzivarasekwa residents were beaten door to door by uniformed thugs. Scores of people were arrested including MDC A Spokesman Fadzai Mahere, Novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, Cllr Godfrey Kurauone in Masvingo, Hon Mugidho in Chiredzi and hundreds of other citizens across Zimbabwe. Some are now out on bail, while Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe and award winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono are rotting in jail after being denied bail.

Fourteen others who are on police wanted list are in hiding as the rogue regime of Emmerson Mnangagwa turns satanic and lethal. As to why anyone has to go into hiding after expressing a divergent view to his government stinks even to higher heaven.  Why are citizens being persecuted for openly warning their leaders against looting of state resources?  It would have made sense if the government was denying the existence of corruption in the upper echelons of the state. V11s for corruption were provided, manje zvaipira papi? Ko varesweyi vana ava.

That can only happen in Zimbabwe where a government can act against whistle-blowers and victims of corruption while protecting the perpetrators of corruption. Shouldn’t it be normal for Zimbabweans to expose corruption without risking any punitive measures from the State? In other countries whistle-blowers are protected or even rewarded financially for fighting corruption.  So why is Job Sikhala, Godfrey Tsenengamu, Promise Mkwananzi, Stephen Chuma, Rabson Chere and many others in hiding? One would have expected those appearing on the list of looters of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through the Agriculture Mechanization syndicate to be on the run. Obadiah Moyo is the appropriate candidate to be under lock and key and not Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume.

In South Africa the needy get social grants to protect them for starvation and the poor even get RDP houses. In Zimbabwe the hungry get arrested for vending in the streets in an effort to put foot on their family tables. As to how the people’s efforts to survive are being condemned as unnecessary movements serves to show how the regime is out of touch with the suffering of the general populace.

Zimbabweans have been literally caged in their homes by a regime which is insensitive to the maddening poverty and starvation which the curfew has inflicted to millions of vendors who live from hand to mouth. Citizens are under house arrest in their homes. They are prisoners of their own homes as the regime put a stop to ‘unnecessary movements.’ The apartheid system although evil, but was better as it protected its own white counterparts, unlike the Zimbabwe regime which targets its own black nationals for scourging and torment.  

ED squandered an excellent opportunity and international goodwill to right the wrongs which were committed by Robert Mugabe. The Croc missed a political penalty shoot-out which Zimbabweans and the world had offered ‘it.’

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