Undemocratic regimes are ever amazing. The thugs who oversee such regimes see conspiracy everywhere, whereas in actual fact it is their dictatorship that is conspiring to destroy the State. The latest in this line of indecorous behaviour is coming from Zimbabwe, where there is a Zimbabwe Police conspiracy theory around planned protests.
The Zimbabwe Police conspiracy theory is that the leading opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has worked to import activists from Sudan who are to act like “protest engineers” to ensure that protests planned for August 16, 2019, should be used to remove Mnangagwa from power.
Democracy Chronicles had earlier predicted that it can be expected that the President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s regime would quell these protests with State protests were they to take place. Now the Mnangagwa government has created its alibi. The protests are now seen as a conspiracy to topple the regime and they shall surely be repressed as rebellion as the Zimbabwean security sector will most likely be used to quash them.
Protests, wherever they are coming from should never be treated as an act of conspiracy. To say that protests are an act of conspiracy and therefore that protesters are simply being manipulated is to treat people like sheep who cannot think for themselves. Whatever the case, the Zimbabweans who intend to protests in the upcoming days have the right to protest freely whether or not “protest engineers” or Anti-Bachir activists are imported from Sudan.
Indeed, if there are people whose job is to develop strategies for protests against dictatorship and long-stay in power then they are blessing to Africa. A major reason why dictatorial regimes are thriving in Africa is because of the absence of popular movements to bar their activities. If there are persons who have found what is required to have people exercise direct democracy and dislodge long-stay rulers, they are welcome.
How else should people see alternation in power happen in Africa if not through street protests considering that the electoral process has been captured? The Zimbabwean government must desist from its anti-democracy rhetoric. It must refrain from shedding blood in response to legitimate demands from the public. If the people of Zimbabwe feel they need another ruler, they should express that freely and without any repression.
The pursuit of State repression in Zimbabwe by the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which it began as soon as it took power in the early 80s, is only leading to more hardship for Zimbabweans. African governments cannot spend their time killing their own people and expect their countries to grow, unless the intent is not to develop but to capture the State for the benefit of a few and for their families and circles.
It is time to truly democratise through the ballot box by ensuring actually free, fair and transparent elections and more than ever, it is also time for long-stay rulers to go! Their incompetence is an insult to Africa’s dynamism and its youth bulge and a major inhibiting factor to the continent’s progress.