Lawson Mabhena News & Politics Editor
Ever since suffering electoral defeat during the July 2018 general elections, opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance has dumped liberalism for anarchism, in fulfilment of party leader Mr Nelson Chamisa’s threat of making Zimbabwe ungovernable until the party assumes power.
The reign of anarchy by the formerly trade unionist-driven party has been on two fronts.
Firstly, at local level, a reign of terror targeting innocent civilians and their properties is aimed at instilling fear in ordinary Zimbabweans and forcing the hand of the military, in a bid to gain local and international sympathy over alleged acts of brutality.
The second level involves the timing of the acts of anarchy which must coincide with important meets under the auspices of regional and international organisations including the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN).
The idea here is to get Zimbabwe on the agenda of these international organisations and also to scare away potential investors by portraying Zimbabwe as a politically unstable destination.
To beef up the anarchist strategy, the MDC-A has also gone on a diplomatic offensive by unleashing ill-conceived movie-style propaganda that has left even the mighty Hollywood feeling violated.
Under this strategy, social media have been turned into a box office of sorts where abduction fantasy films are premiered much to the delight of Western executive producers, fronting an anti-Zimbabwe agenda.
The most recent production is the high-definition lie that the Government of Zimbabwe abducted a 25-year-old doctor probably because he is a threat to national security.
Government, according to the amateurish script, had the audacity to abduct Dr Peter Magombeyi a few days before UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule’s visit and a week before President Mnangagwa left for New York for the ongoing 74th UN General Assembly.
Ironically, Mr Voule, who is in the country at the invitation of the Zimbabwean Government until September 27, is here to assess Zimbabwe’s achievements and challenges in relation to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
The anti-climax of the fantasy film was the return of the missing doctor who was conveniently dumped in Nyabira, near Inkomo Barracks.
His abductors were also kind enough to give him back his cellphone which had enough power and credit for him to conduct a number of interviews with various media houses.
Clearly, this time around, MDC-A went too far.
Why would a Government, whose major foreign policy thrust is that of re-engagement, shoot itself in the foot in such an absurd manner?
Let’s revisit the awful script: First, Government — through the army — abducts a doctor for no apparent reason, but after he had received death threats, and just before a UN pecial rapporteur invited by the same Government visits the country.
Then, the army unwittingly dumps him at their doorstep and hands him back his cellphone. Lastly, without any scratch to his body or creases to his shirt, the doctor insists he was badly tortured.
Where is the Zimbabwe Film and Television School of Southern Africa when it’s needed most?
This is not the first time the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association have been brought into question a few days before an important meeting or visit.
In all honesty, the Dr Magombeyi drama was to be expected.
Last month, MDC-A tried to rollout massive protests meant to coincide with the 39th Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government in Tanzania.
At the same summit, Zimbabwe would assume chairmanship of the bloc’s Organ on Defence and Security.
In the same month, MDC-A vice chairperson Job Sikhala claimed he had been abducted by unknown armed men on a day the party was “commemorating” the August 1, 2018 violence.
As we reported, in the same period, former Co-Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration during the inclusive Government, who is also a founding member of the MDC, Mrs Sekai Holland, described the abductions false.
Mrs Holland, who is National Peace Trust (NPT) board of trustees chairperson, urged diplomats in the country to first verify abduction claims before circulating messages on social media.
“Some of these statements border on falsehoods, misinformation and outright malice,” she boldly said.
No sane individual can entertain such badly written anti-Zimbabwe movie scripts whose plots make no logical sense.
Blinded by racist hate, the donor-driven scripts are ill-conceived and lack creativity.
The “you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” films have become monotonous and boring.
It is always the same story just before an important international event with different actors playing the same characters.
MDC-A should realise that the world is watching, judging. The opposition party is only discrediting itself.
President Mnangagwa has delivered on his promise of sweeping political reforms to open up democratic space and economic reforms in facilitating the ease of doing business, hence no amount of propaganda can undo the major strides achieved towards Vision 2030.
This Magombeyi movie deserves a poor rating: it does not even deserve a single star. And even though it is showing for free, it’s still not worth watching.
Actually, movie lovers are the ones who need to be paid for losing valuable minutes of their lives.