In the heart of Zimbabwe, the ruling party, ZANU PF, led by President Mnangagwa, appears to bask in the belief that its citizens, seemingly docile, silently accept the oppression and tyranny that have defined its rule. Yet, there’s a crucial distinction between apathy and genuine peace. This narrative bears an eerie resemblance to the British colonial era when they mistakenly perceived the Shona people as indolent and timid—a misjudgment that eventually cost the colonizers dearly. ZANU PF has not only inherited tyrannical, alienating, marginalizing, and exclusionary policies from its predecessors but has also demonstrated a worrisome penchant for miscalculations fueled by overconfidence, thanks to its grip on the military, a biased judiciary, a subservient parliament, and a prioritization of traditional chiefs over the welfare of the populace. In this context, ZANU PF’s assumption of prevailing peace rings hollow.

ZANU PF finds itself caught in a self-deception. It’s not suggested that the people are inherently inclined toward violence; rather, the focus is to emphasize that political apathy and genuine peace exist as separate realities. ZANU PF may be legally in power, but it should never forget that this power ultimately belongs to the people. When the population remains politically resigned and apathetic, ZANU PF misconstrues this inaction, indifference, and indecisiveness as peace. However, this is a betrayal of the ruling party’s own illusions, stemming from its desire for unchallenged political dominance while governing without the consent of the governed.

ZANU PF lacks the genuine mandate of the people. The rhetoric of peace, no matter how delusional, serves as a deterrent against any potential uprising.

But what is this deterrence meant to address? Why does ZANU PF feel the need for such measures? Within the nation’s psyche, ZANU PF has cultivated the misleading notion that the fundamental constitutional liberty of assembly is synonymous with violence against the state—violence purportedly orchestrated by external foes, particularly Washington, Brussels, and London. However, these foreign capitals are not the true source of ZANU PF’s animosity. Rather, it’s the democratic aspirations they represent, compared to the exploitative and colonialist relationship Zimbabwe endures under the rule of ZANU PF.

ZANU PF has strategically linked the fundamental right to assembly with Western democratic initiatives. Thus, when a journalist exposes grand corruption like the Draxgate scandal, ZANU PF hastily labels such transparency advocates as part of a regime-change agenda, branding them as threats to national peace, security, and sovereignty—a thinly veiled euphemism for challenging the status quo, i.e., ZANU PF.

This only underscores the fact that ZANU PF isn’t genuinely interested in peace but rather in maintaining the existing power structure. For ZANU PF, peace means keeping the power imbalance intact. This has significant implications, particularly that peace, as desired by ZANU PF, equates to political apathy—a guarantee of perpetual exploitation and looting of the people’s resources. ZANU PF has consistently prioritized pillaging and plundering over the welfare of its citizens, a trend dating back to 1980.

When the people exercise their fundamental constitutional rights to protest, demanding accountability for violations of their human and property rights—a result of ZANU PF’s relentless pursuit of unconstitutional power retention—ZANU PF deploys the military to suppress these legitimate expressions. State-sanctioned violence, including beatings, maimings, rape, extrajudicial killings, and forced disappearances, becomes the norm. Historical events like Gukurahundi, Operations Murambatsvina, and Makavhoterepi stand as stark testaments to this tragic reality. The consequence? A disinterested and disengaged populace, frustrated by a political landscape that offers little hope for genuine peace.

True peace, however, demands a national commitment to reconciliation and healing – a stark contrast to the division and polarization inflicted by ZANU PF’s history of brutality and self-indulgence. Genuine peace in Zimbabwe requires a departure from the status quo, which prioritizes oppression over progress. It’s a call for a new dawn, where the welfare and aspirations of the people finally take precedence over the interests of a ruling elite clinging to power at any cost.

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