By Jean Gasho
As Zimbabwe burns, United Nations is silent. I repeat, as Zimbabwe burns today, United Nations is loudly silent. As Zimbabwe burns, the world calmly looks away. Just last week some Zimbabweans were celebrating on social media when #ThisFlag leader (or not leader) Evan Mawarire appeared on CNN in America adorning himself with the Zimbabwean Flag. “At least he has put Zimbabwe back on the world map”, I saw a number of #ThisFlag supporters reassure themselves on Facebook.
But today, as Zimbabwe burns, where is the world coverage? I saw a little report on BBC Africa today, it wasn’t breaking news or anything, just a little “by the way” kinda news. The reality for Zimbabwe is that we are on our own. The international noise made by ThisFlag was unnecessary, because on the ground that noise has done absolutely nothing for Zimbabwe, well apart from securing asylum status for a certain somebody.
Today I have watched in utter horror as disturbing videos and images from Zimbabwe have dominated social media. The brutal evil police force in Zimbabwe have fired tear gas and water cannon at MDC opposition supporters who had gathered for a peaceful protest march in Harare. In fact the police started firing tear gas before the protests even began! The police have also brutally beaten up people wearing the red MDC T-Shirts. Women have been beaten and teargassed. What is happening on Zimbabwe soil today under the Mugabe regime is unbelievably barbaric and evil.
On Wednesday, my little sister who is in Zimbabwe called me in a state of shock and panic. She had been tear gassed by the police as she ran for her life in Harare. She was not even a protester. She is not a member of any political party. She had just gone into town for private business, and she ended up being chased by the police. She told me that she saw a protester being beaten to death by the police, prompting the protesters to pick up stones and started throwing them towards the police. She said civilians where running in all sorts of directions, some running into moving cars as they struggled to breath from the teargas. On Wednesday, my little sister found herself thanking God, that she had been lucky to survive the sudden terror that unfolded in the capital city of Zimbabwe.
Today as Zimbabwe burns, the reality is that there will not be any international support from anyone. And even if they report it on BBC or CNN, no one is going to do anything to help the people of Zimbabwe. We do not have oil in Zimbabwe. So no one will help. Not even our neighbors. The African leaders will continue to treat Mugabe as an icon. Just last week President Mugabe was due to visit Ghana, where the country was to honor him with an award and give him a hero’s welcome. Mugabe appears to be oblivious to the cries of blood of the Zimbabwean people. The truth is, he just doesn’t care. His strategy is to beat, torture, arrest and terrorize. He has made it clear that he is not going anywhere, he will stay on the throne until nature takes its course, if it does. He is 92 years old, a little frail, stumbles here and there, falls asleep in most meetings, but apart from that he appears to be in very good health for his age. He does not look like hes going to die anytime soon. And with the police and army force firmly on his side, this man may be old and frail but he is without a doubt painfully powerful, and strangely influential to the other African leaders.
Its very painful for me to admit, but as I pen this article I have to say I do not see any change coming to Zimbabwe any time soon. There is no pressure on Mugabe from anyone apart from his own people, which he doesn’t seem to even notice. Right now as Zimbabwe burns, Mugabe is probably enjoying a three course foreign cuisine in the comforts of the State House. I have read somewhere that he likes caviar. That’s if he hasn’t already jetted out of the country. His sons eat and dine with world class celebrities. Oh and still talking of luxuries, as Evan Mawarire continues to do selfie videos from America saying #ThisFlag movement is not dead, or something of that sort, on the Zimbabwean ground activist Sten Zvorwadza has been arrested again today. Tajamuka spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi was also arrested today for apparently inciting public violence. And mother of five and activist Linda Masarira is still in jail.
With this, I will put my pen down, the disturbing images below speaks a thousand words. Zimbabwe is burning, and there is no one to help her…