By Edward Mukaro and Simbarashe Musaki
RECENT abduction and sexual abuse claims at the hands of state security apparatus of three prominent female Movement for Democratic Change Alliance youths leaders will not help efforts by the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Second Republic to move the nation to prosperity after having inherited a debt ridden government from long time Zimbabwean ruler, the late and former President Robert Mugabe, analysts have noted.
President Mnangagwa, upon ascension to the highest office in the land, promised to do things differently from his predecessor, Mugabe, and assured not only Zimbabweans, but also the international community that his government would uphold the rule of law, guided by his ‘Zimbabwe Is Open for Business mantra.’
Although one may argue that Mnangagwa’s administration has made huge strides towards re-building the beleaguered southern African nation, the recent alleged abduction of the three opposition youth leaders could spectacularly backfire, negatively impact the international community’s perceptions of a country troubled by its human rights history, according to analysts.
Speaking in a exclusive interview with The BusinessConnect newspaper, economic analyst Vince Musewe said authorities should learn from past mistakes in order to get the much needed direct foreign investment in the country, as investors are simply put of by disturbances such as abductions (true or false), thereby impacting on the ability of the country to lure investment.
“We are a country with problems and begging, literally begging for financial help from the West and every time something like this happens, it impacts negatively, rightly or wrongly, whether its legitimate or not legitimate, but it doesn’t matter because the perception that is created is that it’s a risky country with no rule of law and investors don’t get excited when these kinds of things (abductions) happen.
“One really needs to reflect on it. I am actually surprised that by now government seems to take a nonchalant view, like its not our problem – it’s the opposition that’s doing it – you actually have to get on top of it so that you correct the misconceptions created by things like this. It does not benefit the country at all, especially in these times, where we are really saying we need help from other people.
“Its sad really that we are not learning from these experiences,” said Musewe.
Zambian based political science lecturer, Godfrey Marera said abductions are used to instill fear in both citizens and political foes, while also stating that the objective such action is used by dictators to maintain power not what the international community will say and do with its sanctions.
“There are two fundamental principles that underlie dictatorship. These are deception and fear. Deception is for keeping loyalty and maintenance of electorate support base, while fear is employed to keep opponents at bay.
“Abductions are enlisted in order to instill fear on both actual and perceived recalcitrant citizens. If you want to keep power the Machiavellian way you would know that it is much better to be feared than loved if you cant have both. Love is maintained by obligation, which is difficult to preserve, but fear by dread of pain.
“Thus if you need to maintain power and you want to injure your enemies, cripple them so that they don’t ever think about coming back for revenge. The objective is to maintain power not what the international community will say and do with its sanctions. What we have learnt so far is that sanctions have failed to remove ZANU PF, in spite of the continuous deterioration of the situation,” said Marera.
Last week, these opposition youths leaders’ allegedly went missing before the police informed the nation that the striking MDC youths had been arrested .
The police again made a U-turn reportedly saying the missing youths were not in their custody.
After days of searching and spirited campaigns by the opposition, the youths s were found reportedly dumped along Bindura Road, badly injured.
By Edward Mukaro and Simbarashe Musaki