By Lloyd Takawira
In a stinging letter addressed to the US Congressional Black Caucus, African Union, Amnesty International, US State Department, European Union, United Nations, SADC, Black Lives Matter, ANC (South Africa) US based Zimbabwe music legend Thomas Mapfumo appealed for intervention in the Zimbabwean crisis.
Mapfumo a long time government critic chronicled how the rule of law has weakened to alarming levels and how the economy have seen a drastic downfall under Zanu PF government as he warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to “reform or it will perish in big headed arrogance.”
Mapfumo barraged the November 2017 coup d’etat that toppled longtime government ruler former President Robert Mugabe saying people expected more from Mnangagwa considering his promises.
“President Mnangagwa promised to end corruption within one hundred days, start re-building the country and seek accountability on public assets in national interest. He promised to be an honest and accessible man who would rule to develop Zimbabwe into a stable economy and democratic nation. We the people embraced that and welcomed him as a potentially great leader who would act differently from President Mugabe” Mapfumo wrote
Mapfumo said President Mnangagwa is now focusing on personal wealth building at the expense of fighting corruption.
“President Mnangagwa re-commissioned the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).Many parties welcomed the move…To every citizen’s surprise, the President and his ZACC developed cold feet. No one was arrested or tried. Many were caught and released as the state and the ZACC claimed “insufficient evidence”.
Mapfumo also waded into the most contention issue of “judicial capture” saying nothing has been done to improve the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
“The judiciary has been captured and the courts now issue partisan judgements in favor of ZANU PF. People get abducted every now and then. Recently activists like Hopewell Chin’ono got arrested as activists like Joanah Mamombe, Alan Moyo and others were imprisoned without cause”
He continued, “So many people are languishing in jail without proper trial and some have been sentenced to life without option of parole. Some are just kept in detention for too long with no trial and this is the same country begging for removal of sanctions. The solution is clear, the government of Zimbabwe needs to reform or it will perish in big headed arrogance.”
On the issue of property rights Dr Mapfumo said property rights violations continue to happen with impunity.
“Land seizures continue to happen as people lose property rights without recourse to the courts of law. Police has become corrupt and many criminals aligned with the President are immune from prosecution”.
The outspoken musician also brushed the ,”Zimbabwe is open for Business mantra” saying the Zanu PF government has the propensity to abuse funds.
“Zimbabwe cannot be seen begging for aid from other nations while abusing its funds in national coffers. It is not making sense to let a few individuals steal millions of dollars from the Reserve Bank as the nation continues to rely on foreign aid” Mapfumo wrote.
On allegations of Harare wanting a one party state Dr Mapfumo wrote that:
“It has also become clear that President Mnangagwa plans to have a one party state in Zimbabwe. He has invested into a number of mechanisms to harass members of the opposition, to infiltrate them using state resources and to disempower and intimidate them”.
He went on to say the government of President Mnangagwa has developed a habit of arresting dissenting voices .
“Those who have tried to oppose the government have been arrested in the past and the trends continue like that. This is not the Zimbabwe we entered at independence. We are now living in a full swing dictatorship where our civil liberties are at risk”.
Dr Thomas Mapfumo’s letter to the international community follows , the United kingdom , United States and the European Union extension of sanctions on Harare and President Mnangagwa allies.