Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SADC, African Union abducting people in Zimbabwe

Suspicion is being cast on African Union Chairman, Robert Mugabe, who is also President of Zimbabwe, in a case in which one Itai Dzamara, a former reporter, was abducted from a barbershop in Harare mid-morning last Monday and has never been heard from again, a now very familiar pattern employed by Zimbabwe’s “intelligence officers” over the years.

The 36-year-old Dzamara is considered “an iconic figure in Zimbabwe’s pro-democracy movement”.
He came to prominence last year when he led a group of activists to occupy Africa Unity Square in mid-town Harare, which is a few meters from Mugabe’s offices and lies directly in front of the main entrance into the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

When he started and led the occupation of Africa Unity Square (in Gaborone, the equivalent is occupying the area between the Main Mall and Parliament where Seretse Khama’s statue stands), his demand was simple and direct: AU Chairman Mugabe must step down from the presidency of Zimbabwe!

The occupiers vowed to remain there as long as Mugabe, also SADC Chairman, refused to vacate the presidency.

Explaining his motivation to occupy Africa Unity Square, Dzamara wrote: “And, some voice continued to give answers. You don’t accept to give excuses; go, the voice said. Don’t wait or sit for donors; go, it added. Don’t bother or question too much about what the people think or say, l heard. Your power is in everything you have and shall team up with many others. It concluded and l understood everything. An attempt to do a prayer and, l heard again, that, ‘the needs for the mission shall be provided for by the Lord of the poor, orphans and widows’”.

Dzamara was reportedly “abducted by some unidentified men who were travelling in a white twin cab vehicle with a blurred registration number plate”, another telltale sign and modus operandi of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation known to Zimbabweans much too well.

It has been used many times before, with some of those abducted only to have their decomposed bodies found in bushes days or weeks after, while one or two managed to survive.

AU Chairman Mugabe has been celebrating his ascendency to this ceremonial position with severely negative extremes that give a very bad name to the continent.

Yes, after becoming chairman of both SADC and the AU, Mugabe not only warned more white farmers but actually took away some of the farms and he continues to do so. Interestingly, he is also seizing farms he gave to Zimbabwean black people who once supported him but who he has since dumped.

Surely, both the AU and SADC should say or do something when their chairman behaves in such a manner – unless they are glad that he is representing both organisations’ aims and objectives.

The AU Chairman has fired half of his cabinet and suspended more from his party without so much as affording them a fair hearing and those people he aggrieved have resorted to the courts and even appealed to SADC, which he chairs.

After those he sidelined over unsubstantiated accusations filed court papers against him, the African Union Chairman publicly threatened judges and magistrates against hearing any case in which he and his party are being sued.

He promised that he would look into the educational backgrounds of any judge or magistrate who accepts to hear the case against him yet he appoints and approves all these legal officials and knows their secrets which he keeps for use as blackmail at a later date.

Countless times he has behaved in deplorable ways since being given the leadership of these two organisations yet both continental bodies have said not a word.

His behavior violates the constitutions of both the AU and SADC and he has, on countless times, violated the constitutions of both his party and the nation, let alone run sham elections.

He directed that aggrieved individuals within his party and outside may not seek recourse in the nation’s courts, saying that the courts have no jurisdiction over his party’s affairs.

It is such a shame that both SADC and the AU are accepting such disgusting public behavior from someone they, themselves, chose to “lead” them – standing ovations and all.

The AU Chairman, like the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), has threatened his party members against ever taking party issues to court.

I am still to hear any complaints from the African Union about the behavior of their Chairman.

I have not heard so much as a whimper from SADC about the behavior of its Chairman or whatever stupid title they glorify him with.

I have seen that a senile man can abuse citizens on the African continent while wearing an African Union jacket adorned with SADC tie, trousers and underwear but none of these two groupings he leads dare say a word.

What do the African Union and SADC stand for, I wonder? Is Mugabe their logo, like the Coke’s red stripes and the three pointed star of the Mercedes Benz?

Apparently, these two repulsive organisations agree with what their chairman Mugabe is doing to their brands by denying Africans their freedom of expression, congregation, speech and human rights.

If SADC and the AU, the two patrons of Africa’s misery, keep quiet when Africa’s citizens are denied a chance to seek recourse from courts of law, they should campaign for AU Chairman Mugabe to take over Sep Blatter’s job as President of FIFA because that is where individual members are humiliated and have careers destroyed while being denied the right to approach neutral arbitrators or even the courts of law when they feel wronged by FIFA, an organization of which they are members.

AU Chairman Robert Mugabe, like FIFA, like SADC, like the African Union, thinks the best way to protect people is to silence them by taking away their freedoms.

Jestina Mukoko, who ran the Zimbabwe Peace Project, a human rights organization, was kidnapped from her residence on the night of December 3, 2008.

She, like Dzamara, was suspected of being anti-government. After about three months when friends, relatives and supporters had written her off as having been killed like all others before her, she showed up in March 2009 from undisclosed locations where she had been held incommunicado by the intelligence officers and was granted bail.

It is my wish, hope and expectation that Itai Dzamara is released immediately and in one piece. Otherwise we hold both the African Union and SADC responsible for the safety of this young man.

SADC and the AU cannot continue keeping quiet when their leader behaves like a bandit while sitting on the chair of their authority; they must demand that their leader stops terrorizing citizens forthwith.

The SADC/AU Chairman has already soiled these two organisations more than they have done to themselves in many years.

It is regrettable that this is the best that the collective leadership of Africa can come up with in terms of leadership, vision and goals.


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