No new dawn in the piece meal amendments of POSA, AIPPA
By Witness Dube
20 December, 2007
Cosmetic amendments of POSA, AIPPA and the Broadcasting Services Act by an unrepentant megalomaniac and crafty despot in the mould of Mugabe are nothing more than his trademark pseudo-democracy antics. His dramatic right posturing is meant to signal his SADC choir of praise singers to start rehearsing their “free and fair elections” chorus.
The amendments do not take away the sweeping state powers. Section 27 of POSA empowers the Zimbabwe Republic Police, a pillar in Mugabe’s power hold, to prohibit all public gatherings for a period of three months if ,in their opinion, there is a threat to public order.
The new Zimbabwe Media Commission will have a chair person and eight other commissioners appointed by the president. These Mugabe anointed will then appoint a Media Council which will develop, define, and enforce a code of conduct and ethics to be observed by journalist and Mass Media Services. Talk of a cat watching a mouse. Nearly the same goes for the Broadcasting Services.
POSA amendments are nothing to remove the Act from being Mugabe’s number one choice window for new episodes in his, “…moment of madness…’ series. Ian Smith sought to quash the black people’s revolution in the name of POSA. Mugabe’s Gukurahundi (Trash Washing Rain) crushed 20 000 innocent Ndebeles civilians in the name of POSA. The opposition formations continue to be bashed as was evidenced by Tsvangirayi’s skull that was “moved” by the Police according to Mugabe. What new political environment can honestly be ushered in by piece meal amendments? What is Mugabe noising to the world now because that noise can not be meant for Zimbabweans? Zimbabweans are listening to each other’s yells of pain and cries of hungry children because his self confessed “degrees in violence” are upon our door steps.
The principal context of engaging Zanu pf through talks was necessitated and defined by the people of Zimbabwe ’s quest for a free and fair election as a mid-wife to the re-birth of our short lived freedom and democracy. At their most positive tone the reforms neither mute any assurance of being significant tools to a free and fair election as a result of their existence, nor do they make a clear call to the political compass in Zunamiland to shift a single degree towards democracy. Zanu pf merely wants to snap survey the opposition formations’ support base during an election while they romp to victory via the apathy that will surely be the biggest candidate if the elections go ahead under the prevailing conditions.
In the interest of freedom, democracy, peace, stability and development after the elections, the electioneering process must be opened up further through enacting a dozen pro democracy laws to be supported by mutually negotiated and agreed upon political deals for the period after the elections. This should be before talk of any elections. Without that the MDC owes it to the people who have hitherto stood the distance in the long walk to freedom and democracy to totally refuse any appeasement amendments from Zanu pf. What is posing as reforms before us is nothing but another of Mugabe’s political dilemma skits aimed at hoisting his empire above the sky.
I wish to implore my friends in our opposition formations that a new Zimbabwe constitution is not only an imperative before any further elections but also importantly one of the unifying agendas that has hovered the Zimbabwean political arena for a long time. Its is the clean pool into which every peace, democracy, unity and development loving Zimbabwean should want to be baptized in to wash the absurdly monopolized ideas of patriotism and sovereignty on the one hand, and clumsily construed self serving arguments on deliverance of democratic principles on the other. Zanu pf has to leave the bedrock of a sum total of fraud, desperation, and insatiable power hunger that the current Zimbabwe constitution rises on. This agenda should never be compromised in the interest of accommodating emerging career politicians now threatening the mobility of our struggle.
Since political deals seem to fail to convince Mugabe to convert to democracy in the foreseeable future we the Zimbabweans must agree that we have it all to do the NCA and Lovemore Madhuku style of a permanent presence in the streets except that we should be more creative, strategise many times better, coordinate well and execute an artistic non-violent war against tyranny. It is time Zimbabweans learned once again to see the beauty in sustaining a vigorous campaign against oppression.
Any engrossment by the opposition formations of the POSA monster now trying to hide its tail should be viewed as a grave insult to the fallen comrades of the people’s struggle like Talent Chiminya and Mthokozisi Ncube whom POSA burned and butchered through the hands of Zanu pf. It should be foolishness and must be viewed as such that papers like The Daily News will be romantically brought back by Mugabe to churn out truths without any Zanumi time bomb in their printing machines.
My humble submission to the opposition formations and my fellow Zimbabweans is that there is no new day sun in the form of legislative amendments to bask in. These are the usual window dressing election gimmicks Mugabe and Zanu pf always instinctively engage at the dawn of every election. The difference is that this propaganda horse is meant to be fed by president Mbeki on behalf of the by-standing SADC so that Zanu pf can once again out run the true freedom and democracy of the people of Zimbabwe .