Government using arrests to instil fear towards 2023 election?

By Simbarashe Musaki and Edward Mukaro
THE alleged persecution and arrest of journalists is meant to send fear to the journalist fraternity, rendering the society blind, deaf and dumb, since media professionals are the eyes, ears and in many ways the voices of the community, analysts have opined.
Zimbabwe has come under the global spotlight, amid the arrest and denial of bail for award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe president, Jacob Ngarivhume by the courts after they were charged for inciting public violence.
Civic organisations, church bodies, opposition political parties and some individuals have been on an offensive against the Government of Zimbabwe for what many have been calling a “crackdown on government critics.”
Speaking to The BusinessConnect in an exclusive interview, political analyst Donald Zhou said dissenting voices will be punished by the government while arresting of journalists is meant to keep the people of Zimbabwe in the dark on what will be transpiring in the corridors of power, while also pursuing a bigger agenda of tarnishing advocate Nelson Chamisa’s image.
“Arrest of journalists is meant to send fear to the journalist fraternity. Hopewell (Chin’ono) is being used as an example and going forward, we may see journalists being unable to ask critical questions. All dissenting voices will be punished by this government, and all the arrests, torture, abductions are meant to send fear. “They have used fear as an instrument before (2000, 2002, June 2008, for example), and they are showing us that they will not hesitate to use it again. The bigger aim is to make sure that by 2023, they would have destroyed all opposing voices. When they targeted Chamisa’s MDC, unfortunately, some justified it but the bigger plan is still to destroy (Nelson) Chamisa politically and all those who may oppose what the government is doing,” he said.
As political parties are gearing for the 2023 elections, Godfrey Marera, a political analyst expressed that arresting of journalists was tantamount to making the society blind, through dictatorial tendencies.
“Their arrest is simply a way of making the society blind, deaf and dumb. This is typical of dictatorship to keep away people from seeing its dirty linen. Hopewell was an investigative journalist meaning that he could go deeper than most of the journalism we have around. I do not foresee any change between now and 2023,” said Marera.
In a recent post, the US embassy in Harare recently stated, “Zimbabwe’s rights to freedom of expression, speech and association remain enshrined in their Constitution. Citizens exercising their civil rights, such as Godfrey Kurauone, Hopewell Chin’ono, Jacob Ngarivhume, should have those rights respected.”
The GoZ of Zimbabwe has come under fire from both the local and international community over the arrest of Chin’ono, with the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Council releasing a stinging press statement that has got the government on its toes, defending the country from what President Emmerson Mnangagwa described as “detractors of our country”.
“In the post-independence period, we continue to work well with the church to advance the national development agenda, as a united people.
“However, it is most unfortunate when men of the cloth begin to use the pulpit to advance a nefarious agenda for detractors of our country,” President Mnangagwa said.

Related posts

Leave a Comment