Herald Report: The CCC spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere, during the United Nations (UN) Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy 2023, Switzerland, conveniently lied to the world that the state of human rights in Zimbabwe had deteriorated ahead of the harmonised elections.
Twenty-five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) partnered during the 15th annual week-long summit, which brought together what it described as “ . . . the world’s brightest and bravest troublemakers” consisting of “persecuted” opposition members from different countries; allegedly repressed journalists and activists who had “exposed” the human rights conditions under alleged dictatorships in their countries.
Opportunistically, during the summit, Mahere, sensationally claimed to the world that: “ . . . Zimbabwe is a full blown dictatorship. @JobSikhala1 and @Ngarivhume Jacob are political prisoners in jail for their politics. It is not a crime to demand a better society. The weaponisation of the law against Government critics must stop. We need new leaders,” she said.
It would be irresponsible to let Mahere’s isolated beliefs shape the international world’s perception of the status of human rights in Zimbabwe, especially ahead of the forthcoming elections.
It is a lie that Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) leader, Jacob Ngarivhume, was sentenced to jail on frivolous charges and that he is being politically persecuted.
To set the record straight, Ngarivhume’s short hour of political glory was when he called for the 31st July 2020 national shutdown which transformed him into a habitual and staunch inciter of public violence against Government, which disillusioned him into making numerous calls for violent anti-Government protests and demonstrations, whenever he felt his political relevance was fading.
Mahere also outdid herself and lied through her borrowed western English accent that Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, who has been in remand prison for about 300 days is also being politically persecuted by an allegedly “paranoid State”.
Sikhala was placed in remand for long not because he is being politically persecuted, but because he was arrested and faces multiple charges, which the State is clearing one after the other.
He will be released from remand when his charges have been cleared or given a sentence when he is convicted of any charges.
However, to CCC and Mahere, the case of the duo, and a few incidents of arrests of opposition members and supporters, herself included, are presented as shallow evidence of the shrinking of political space under Zanu PF.
Mahere further claimed that the arrests of opposition members by the State are evidence that, the CCC’s support ahead of the general elections has increased and that it is guaranteed of a landslide victory against Zanu PF in the general elections.
“It might surprise you, that after repeated arrests and wrongful imprisonment, I have come here today, to the UN, optimistic because the crackdown now taking place in Zimbabwe is a sign that we are winning,” she said during her speech at the UN.
It is a fat lie that CCC is winning the race by the ballot and that the arrest of people in the opposition who commit criminal offences is a sign of their popularity!
In fact, the opposite could be true that they commit the offences because they are not popular and want to appear popular when they are arrested and allege political persecution.
The law does not spare those with a penchant of committing prosecutable offences simply because they belong to the opposition, otherwise that will be advocating for lawlessness.
All signs of CCC defeat in the forthcoming general elections are visible for anyone to see.
CCC set a herculean task for itself when it targeted to register six million voters for that party’s leader, Nelson Chamisa, for the general elections.
That party has been cash-strapped for long and has not managed to register enough voters.
However, to hoodwink its sponsors, CCC claims that, its failed voter mobilisation campaigns; the Rural Voter Mobilisation Campaign dubbed Mugwazo; its urban “door to door” campaign; its Register, Elect And Protect (REAP); the Diaspora vote campaign and various register to vote challenges have registered enough voters for them.
Repeatedly, Mahere lied that CCC has managed to penetrate rural areas in general and Zanu PF stronghold areas in particular, ahead of the general elections.
Facts on the ground are that the party failed to penetrate Zanu PF stronghold areas and majority rural areas in general because of a poorly resourced voter registration campaign.
Instead, it is Zanu PF that has managed to penetrate the urban areas where CCC used to dominate. Chamisa’s Alice in Wonderland dream promises of building spaghetti roads and bullet trains were an election campaign disaster in rural areas across the country.
His messages of false hope failed to appeal to the rural electorate because they are unrealistic and not pragmatic.
Conversely, Zanu PF’s impeccable history of delivering on its election promises, especially in rural areas, for example on Pfumvudza/Intwasa, the Presidential borehole scheme, rural electrification, Presidential poultry and goat schemes, among other projects have secured votes and support for the Party ahead of the general elections.
As the country prepares to go for elections sometime in August, CCC and Mahere’s lies are meant to taint the forthcoming elections and they should be exposed.
Usually, towards every election, the opposition cooks up allegations of political persecution and allegations of the abduction of opposition members and activists by Zanu PF to create an imagination that the general elections will not be free and fair.
CCC and Mahere are already manufacturing a discourse that Zanu PF has already started unleashing violence on opposition opponents as a tactic to rig the forthcoming elections.
It is a lie that the ruling party is responsible for political violence in Zimbabwe.
The CCC relies on stirring violence to cultivate an environment of contested elections, thereby justifying their defeat and subsequent calls for more sanctions on peace loving Zimbabweans.
As the country goes for elections in August, President Mnangagwa is on record calling for peaceful elections.
He has publicly denounced violence and urged Zimbabweans to vote in peace.
Chamisa and Mahere have not made calls for peaceful voting among their supporters – instead, they have warned their supporters to arm themselves and be ready to defend the vote by any means possible, including violence.