The murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA on 25 May 2020 torched an unprecedented wave of all manner of demonstrations and vigils across the globe. This is rightly so considering that this was motivated by racial prejudice which can be traced back to the 400 year era of slavery. This got me thinking about our own situation in Zimbabwe. The only difference being that the prejudice experienced in Zimbabwe is by a ruling black elite upon poverty stricken and a hapless black citizenry.
In the George Floyd episode, I witnessed many Zimbabweans taking part in demonstrations in the different parts of the world where they now live. I wish Zimbabweans across the globe could have the same kind of consciousness and will to act when it comes to the atrocities being committed by the Zimbabwean government upon the citizens of Zimbabwe. These range from state sponsored or state sanctioned murder, abductions, torture, rape, displacements and other forms of persecution, both physical and psychological. Not to mention Gukurahundi, a genocide perpetrated in the 80’s on the people of Matabeleland and Midlands when the current President, ED Mnangagwa was Minister of State for National Security (responsible for the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization – CIO). He was in this cabinet portfolio from 1980 to 1988.
The sad thing is that women in Zimbabwe tend to bear the brunt when it comes to most of the atrocities. Their wares are confisticated when they try to vend as a way of fending for their families. State agencies like the Police and the Army often use rape as a political tool against women and they have nowhere to report. Someone are tortured randomly and sometimes on tribal grounds for minor offences. The likes of the two Bulawayo sisters come to mind.
With regards to abductions, the case of Samantha Kureya (Gonyeti) who was abducted on Wednesday 21 August 2019 and more recently, the case of the MDC A trio of Joana Mamombe (MP), Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who were abducted on Wednesday 13th May 2020 are recent cases in point.
And yet we have remained silent, as if nothing amiss is happening. I am calling upon all human rights activists, members of the opposition and civil society in general to join hands and start taking action now and in future when an incident of state sponsored or state sanction atrocities occurs. Otherwise – we can’t breathe.