Now Daily Editorial|
By the Editorial Board|
The police attack on peaceful MDC-T demonstrators in Harare on Tuesday is ample proof that Zimbabwe is a dictatorship where vital freedoms of assembly and expression are severely curtailed.
The unarmed MDC marchers merely wanted to present a petition to Southern African Development Community leaders meeting in Harare when they were bludgeoned with truncheons by armed riot cops. Many protesters were severely injured.
This violence against citizens exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights was uncalled for.
However, the attack, happening under the full glare of international television cameras, has done a lot to highlight president Robert Mugabe’s genocidal misrule. It has reminded the world that this is Zimbabwe, where peaceful protesters like Itai Dzamara can be abducted in broad daylight by state security agents and be forced to disappear without trace. This is dictator Mugabe’s Zimbabwe where state-sponsored violence, racial intolerance, ethnic cleansing, unbridled corruption and economic mismanagement have ruined a once-promising country. Due to Mugabe and Zanu PF’s actions, Zimbabwe has been reduced to a repressive, bankrupt pariah state.
The police attack on the Harare demonstrators on Tuesday answers president Jacob Zuma’s question on why so many Zimbabweans now live in South Africa and not in their own country. Who would want to live under a system marked by abuse of power and violence, where citizens can not even walk down the street with placards denouncing the state?
SADC must take note of Mugabe’s repressive tendencies. In fact, the dictator deserves to be charged with genocide and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
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