HomeOpinion & AnalysisProsecution shouldn’t be persecution

Prosecution shouldn’t be persecution

NATURE speaks to humanity through what scripture refers to as signs and wonders. One such a sign was the star that guided three wise men to the birthplace of Jesus. Their mission to worship the Messiah could have failed had they ignored the star.

Cyprian M Ndawana

“They went on their way and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the baby was.” Matthew 2:9. History abounds with accounts of people who met their destiny  owing to disobedience to promptings of nature.

Moses became a hero by heeding nature speaking through a bush flame. Imagine the fate that could have befallen him had he ignored. Conversely, former Roman consul Julius Caesar was assassinated after he defied the warning to be aware of the ides of March.

As I see it, dark clouds that hovered over Zimbabwe during the countdown to the 41st Independence anniversary were a distinct case of nature speaking to humanity. These were signs and wonders conveying a message. Indeed, nature never ceases to communicate.

How else can one explain the signs than with wonderment? It was not by happenchance that the country, almost in its entirety, was blanketed. It is my sincere conviction that it was nature speaking to citizenry, particularly the rulership, that the country was downcast.

Methinks the darkening of the sky was ominous. Even the wind had an eerie and portentous stillness. Granted, the phenomenon is debatable. It is subject to innumerable interpretations. Just as there are 50 plus shades of grey, so are schools of thought.

However, I subscribe to the conventional wisdom that it conveyed the despondency of an overly burdened citizenry. Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s promise to deliver what the Zimbabwean nationals want, it is apparent that the socio-economic condition is anything but desirable. With government charging a whopping US$318 for a passport, this is a far cry from what the Zimbabwe citizenry wants.

Amid the government-sponsored all-night musical gala, God’s rebuke for Israel sprang to mind. “Away with the noise of your songs!” bellowed God. “I will not listen to your harps. But, let justice roll like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream.” Amos 5:23-24.

Given the prevailing injustice, this message is as pertinent to the country as it was to Israel. Like the 18th century Israel rulership which practised injustice and oppression, so is the Zimbabwean one. Hence, the outcry for justice to roll like a never failing river.

There is no way the 41st Independence anniversary could have been worthy of merriment. Events that preceded it are a catalogue of a progressive trend of weaponisation of State institutions, particularly the Judiciary, police and public media.

What independence is there to celebrate when citizenry is charged under non-existent laws? It is worrisome that a defunct law that was struck off the statutes back in 2014 could still be a basis of prosecution and detention.

Plainly, that was persecution, and not prosecution.

It points to the extent to which the Judiciary and the police have been weaponised.

Despite heartfelt pleadings by the defence that the accused was being charged under a non-existent law, the lower court was, nonetheless, low on rationality.

It is ironic that a case whose merits were in plain sight had to be ruled on appeal.

It makes a mockery of the Judiciary that it took the High Court to hand down the ruling that the law used to charge the defendant was non-existent.

There can never be incentive for independence celebrations when the Judiciary incarcerates citizenry in remand prison for two months plus on allegations of violating COVID-19 lockdown regulations. Essentially, the time-honoured principle of judicial impartiality is compromised.

Indeed, the Judiciary now has a side that is buttered. As if its forfeiture of partiality is not sufficiently bothersome, the police too is now conspicuous by its being tilted. It no longer carries out its policing mandate without fear or favour.

With land barons still roaming the streets as a result of selective application of the law, weaponisation of State institutions has become conspicuous. Catch and release is the norm for bigwigs accused of corruption.

As I see it, dark clouds that enveloped the nation were in perfect harmony with the sombre countenance of citizenry. Besides the dark clouds, there were other notable events that were distinct bad omens for the country.

Zimbabweans respect the sanctity of life. Yet, of late, there has been an upsurge in ritual killings and other forms of gruesome murders. These bloody offences embody the dire traits of a besieged citizenry. They signify nature speaking to humanity.

Inherent in them is a message to leadership that the country can never be well and truly functional when a corruption convict who lied under oath is appointed to Cabinet. His conviction is incommutable. It endures into eternity.

Apparently, the temerity to bypass unsoiled alternatives thrusts the country deeper into the mire. With the economy already in agony, afflicted by corruption, appointing a candidate who lied under oath was in all manner of reason gauche.

There are many within the diplomatic corps who had the privilege of holding public office with dignity. Among the people who stand in good stead for Cabinet are ambassadors Rtd Colonel Christian Katsande, Grey Marongwe and Jonathan Wutawunashe.

The tabling of the Constitutional Amendment No 2 Bill now an Act in the countdown to the 41st Independence anniversary wrought despondence among citizenry. Woe betide the quislings who voted in support of the heinous Bill.

Aptly described as a poisoned chalice, the Act is a tidemark below which democracy has fallen. This wanton mutilation of the Constitution, meant to vest unfettered powers in the Presidency to handpick his deputies and senior judges, is anathema to democracy.

Regardless of how wise a leader might be, his wisdom can never be better than collective deliberation. Indeed, the rationality of amassing power to single-handedly appoint judges and extend their tenure to age 75 is a hallmark of despotism.

The propensity to amass power goes hand-in-hand with hero worshipping which has become commonplace in our beloved country. It has become the norm for the ruling Zanu PF party and government to commend the President for his “vision”.

It must be embarrassing that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wisdom, instead of good rains, is being commended for a bumper harvest. Yet, a true visionary does not accommodate an exaggerated elevation of his merits, neither does he tolerate unquestioning deference.

Methinks the spirit medium you are erecting a monument for cannot be appeased while you embrace an opposition leader who is facing allegations of embezzling public funds.

Intentions to reintroduce the national youth service, coupled with the annihilation of the opposition, cast a dumper on the citizenry. Consequently, the national dress parade failed to salvage the 41st Independence anniversary from insipidity.

Discerning nature is an exceptional attribute.

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