Let’s not forget who our enemy is PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 10 October 2015 09:10

Mugabe’s long rule has largely been attributed to his ability to divide and rule; the strategy of breaking up effective opposition parties and pressure groups into smaller individual based factions that are less effective and of little impact. Opposition voices, collectively, could have stopped Mugabe in his tracks a long time ago. 


A good example is the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) which in 2000, barely 6 months old, clearly defeated Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF at the polls despite official results giving a narrow victory to Mugabe. What else could have been expected, with Mugabe’s party being the player, the referee and the court of appeal? Sensing danger Mugabe quickly deployed his super strategy to cause confusion within opposition ranks, divide and ultimately strengthen his hold onto power.  Since then, the opposition MDC has fractured into several smaller ineffective parts and with it they might as well have kissed goodbye to any hope of wrestlng power from ZANU PF, even after Mugabe is gone. Recently the double headed Tendai Biti – Elton Mangoma MDC Renewal outfit split as soon as they had split from the MDC-T themselves. Splits have also been seen in trade unions, student unions, civil society groups, anything that is effective at chipping away Mugabe’s stranglehold on Zimbabwe.


With functional ZANU PF cells now openly operating in the UK, the Zimbabwe Vigil and its sister organisation the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) have seen a sustained attempt to disrupt, divide or completely annihilate the two campaigns. Those who follow the history of the Zimbabwe struggle post-independence and particularly in the UK will be aware that people in the Zimbabwe Vigil were instrumental in the growth of the MDC in the UK soon after its formation. They will also be aware that the Vigil has over the years supported, morally and materially, a number of progressive voices including the MDC, WOZA, ZCTU, and ROHR. It is also the Vigil and its sister organisation who, following the formation of the ill-fated Inclusive Government, stood up to Morgan Tsvangirai when he globe trotted telling the world that Mugabe was now a reformed man and that the Zimbabwe crisis was over. So while they dined and wined with the dictator, the Vigil and ROHR remained resolute in the call for Mugabe to go, in insisting that he was not legitimate and in their demand for the rule of law, justice and genuine freedom. The opposition only came to their senses in July 2013 when Mugabe gave himself more than two-thirds parliamentary representation and with it the right to monopolise state power. The Vigil was vindicated!


Now it is the Vigil and ROHR that continue to be consistent and resolute in their causes, obviously to the irritation of the Mugabe regime. The recent accosting of Mike Bimha in London, the continual demand for the truth of what happened to Itai Dzamara, the demand for a free and fair election under international supervision, the demand for Mugabe to be arraigned before The Hague for the Matabeleland genocide, among many demands, have clearly irritated the Mugabe regime.


It is no wonder therefore that the Zimbabwe Vigil has of late been infiltrated. Most Vigil activists believe that erstwhile colleagues David Kadzutu, Peter Sidindi and Mary Muteyerwa are on the regime’s payroll to destabilise the Vigil and ROHR. Characteristic of long running splits within the Zimbabwe political fabric, the three now go by the name ‘Super Vigil’ with two elderly ladies and another female associate under their command. The Vigil believes that whoever tries to draw its attention away from the Mugabe regime does so to promote the regime. This writer witnessed a surprise attempt to ambush and disrupt the Vigil two weeks ago, following hard on the heels of two successful protests by the Zimbabwe Vigil and ROHR on the 22nd and 23rd of September 2015 against Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha and Zanu PF cronies who had come to the UK to beg from the diaspora. While the Kadzutu ‘Super Vigil’ is busy carrying out its smear campaign against fellow human rights activists, ROHR has been in action, busy on their programmes in Zimbabwe, where they now enjoy an active presence in all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.


So instead of helping people in Zimbabwe to fight for their basic human rights, the so called ‘Super Vigil’ is embroiled in petty squabbles bent at destabilising the Vigil. It is not rocket science that everyone has seen them for who they really are and, far from being discouraged, Vigil supporters are resolute and united against this latest attack by agents of the regime. Under the able and unwavering leadership of Ephraim Tapa, Rose Benton and Fungayi Mabhunu, the Vigil is also buoyed by the level of support and encouragement that it continues to receive among Zimbabwe diasporans, the international community and those at home. Mugabe’s divide and rule tactic will not be allowed to succeed as far as the Vigil and ROHR are concerned. Zimbabwe must unite and remain vigilant to defeat the real enemy, the Mugabe regime and salvage beloved Zimbabwe from the precipice!

Esther Nyambi


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