Saturday, September 19, 2020

Zimbabwe government must be spending heavily on security

It is conspicuous that the Zimbabwe government is spending heavily on security forces, which has since been beefed up following the partial withdrawal of Tsvangirai’s MDC from the coalition government, citing Mugabe’s heavy-handedness on the other two partners in the inclusive government, which is hardly nine months old.

The army and police who man 24-hour roadblocks have been duly instructed to look for weapons in particular before any other business on approaching motorists.

As this reporter entered the border on Thursday, there was an unusual thorough search that involved the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), heavily armed police and soldiers.
A total of 12 roadblocks were encountered from Plumtree to Harare, a distance of about 550km.

The heavy presence of security agents wherever one goes gives a sense of insecurity by Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) following MDC-T’s partial withdrawal from the global political agreement that bore the unity government in February this year.

On every roadblock, vehicle boots are thoroughly searched, putting the pleasure of travelling to its lowest.
Targeted places and properties are being ransacked by the security agents of the government.

AFP reports that a house in the northern suburb of Highlands belonging to MDC-T was raided at night by more than 50 armed police officers, the news agency said, quoting Tendai Biti, the secretary-general of MDC-T and Minister of Finance in the inclusive government.
MDC-T partly withdrew from the unity government citing unresolved issues, which were also exacerbated by the incarceration of Roy Bennett, the party’s treasurer and proposed deputy Minister of Agriculture. Bennett was jailed for breaking his bail conditions; he was released a few days later.

There are fears that police could have planted weapons in the process of raiding it. The house accommodates MDC officials, including organising secretary, Morgan Komichi, and others. The police beat up the wife and the caretaker before they dug part of the garden in the name of searching for weapons, AFP reports.

The inclusive government is experiencing the final trauma before possible breakup if Mugabe remains obstinate and deeply seated in the past as well as not respecting the other two partners as equals in the GPA.

Mugabe on Saturday told reporters in Harare upon arrival from Kampala, Uganda, that MDC should “not be emotional” over outstanding issues such as the appointment of the Reserve Bank governor and the Attorney General.
On Monday, Tsvangirai and Mugabe were scheduled to meet and address the so-called outstanding issues, which will give MDC a clear way as to whether or not to totally withdraw from the inclusive government.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.