_By Pride Mkono_
One of the most striking features of Zimbabwe’s national crisis is impunity and complete lack of accountability. This has a long history but I will just hazard a few.
The atrocities and excesses of the liberation struggle period have remained closed forever in the closet of ‘reconciliation.’ No one knows to this day who killed Chairman Chitepo, who ordered hits on Nyadzonia and Chimoio among many other painful episodes which surely deserve closure.
Soon after independence, nothing has been done to ensure healing and justice for the Gukurahundi massacres. Beyond the inflammatory ‘moment of madness’ statement by the late former President Robert Mugabe, there is nothing which has been done to genuinely address the matter.
Since 2000, when the MDC was formed and it proved to be a real challenger to ZANU PF hegemony, hundreds of its supporters have been killed by state agents and known ZANU PF militias. The worst of these killings happening ahead of the abortive and sham June 27, 2008 run off. To date no one has honoured up. Even during the inclusive government period, none of those holding substantive political power attempted to address the issue beyond window dressing.
This is our Zimbabwe, a country of impunity!
On 15 November 2017, the nation woke up to a brief military statement by the Major General SB Moyo (late) declaring that they (military) had taken over briefly to deal with ‘criminals surrounding the president.’
I need not state this was a military coup. What followed was a march organised by war veterans on 17 November 2017. To the discerning eye, this march was a smokescreen to buy public support for the coup and give it appearance of popular will. On the day, people showed up in hundreds of thousands across the major urban centres.
Local and international media was well mobilised and resourced to captured the moment, and they did. To date the internet is awash with pictures and videos of ecstatic Zimbabweans mingling as one with the military.
Juxtaposing those pictures with those from 1 August 2018 post-election violence and the crackdown of January 2019 shows that one side was used.
These large numbers were mobilised by all political parties including the mainstream opposition, MDC and its offshoots, civil society and organised labour. Students, workers and vendors too, were not to be left out. Their leaders like those of political parties and civil society having been resourced to actively support the coup.
The coup masters had been able to use instant gratification and promise of future power as a bargaining chip. Well, it turned out to be a poisoned chalice.
I need not go into how the marriage of convenience; the sweetheart association has turned out to be. For my part, I labelled it the *’the nation’s darkest hour’*. The names
I was called cannot be possible printed here but at the time, I downed it all with cold quarts which were in endless flow (I digress).
Now that it is apparent that the shit has hit the fan, will those who called on people to march apologize.
Will all the opposition leader acknowledge the mistake. Will those who fanciful kissed soldiers and spoke glowing of the coup be brave enough to swallow their words.
Will those who aided and abetted the November 2017 events honour up? Or they will walk down the same old path of history; impunity and zero apology?
We shall see!
Pride Mkono is a social justice activist. He writes in his own capacity.