Some days, today is one of them, there’s seems to be too much going on I just don’t know where to start or focus my energy.
I could spend hours bloviating on the not so pleasant plight of Lovemore Madhuku the leader of Zimbabwe’s National Constitutional Assembly–an umbrella body of civic groups pushing for a new constitution in Zimbabwe. He has taken a battering in the news over the last few days because he somehow managed to secure himself a third term at the helm of NCA in violation of the groups constitution. He took care of that though, he ammended the constitution. Needless to say, Dr. Madhuku is swimming in controversy. The activist is accused of manifesting the same despotic tendencies his opposes in Mugabe. He fired back at his critics in an interview with SW Radio’s Violet Gonda.
The Interception of Communications Bill, which empowers the government to monitor cyber and telephony activities of individuals “suspected of threatening national security” continues to sail through the legislative hoops on its way to becoming law. After being gazetted late last week, it went for reading in parliament’s legal committee. If they pass it, the bill could be tabled on the floor for a vote in a matter of days. By the end of the week it could be signed into law.
That’s a bogus concept for you, national security in Zimbabwe? Security from what, certainly not from hunger, disease, dilapidated infrastructure, economic implosion and so on. The governent can’t even provide workspace for some of their own functions and they want to talk about “national security?”
But I digress, the IC in essence threatens this blog and many others, and casts a dark omnous cloud over interactions personal or business carried out Zimbabweans with the outside world everyday. If the bill passes, Zimbabwe’s odyssey will recede back into the minds of the affected. Many bloggers have picked up on the issue, but the larger papers have done very little on the story because they feel untouchable because they are outside country. The folly of this mindset is it’s failure to realize that all the sources cited by places like Zimonline, NewZimbabwe, Zimdaily, SW Radio Africa could be done for if this bill comes into place.
The worst part is knowing that there’s really isn’t much we can do politically to st0p them from foisting such evil on us. We do not have the political wherewithal to withstand ZANU-PF’s majority in both houses of the legislature. I also get the sense that defiance is a major part of the absence of public outcry over the bill. People are daring the cashstrapped government to establish and mantain the kind of infrastructure necessary to keep with new media through which they communicate. But that does nothing for the few who will reel under the oppression of the draconian bill. This bill could essentially be the end of freedom of expression in Zimbabwe. We are a country where citizens have no rights now. Woe is us.
Did you see this? Potatoes are now a “strategic crop.” This brings back memories of the old man saying “muchadya mananga” (you are going to eat pumpkins). This was back in 1999 in response to the publics concern for food security after the invasion of farms started. Back then the statement was the fodder of which viral emails and text messages were made of. Now, it’s the reality that stares us in the eye–potatoes.
I haven’t even touched on the plight of Roy Bennett and South Africa’s denial of his application for asylum there. And there are pictures released by AI showing what has happened to the squatter camp at Porta Farm. Mandebvu has the pictures here.