Reason Wafawarova On Monday
Our security authorities have a telling knack for pettiness it seems, especially when it comes to matters political.
Back in 2002 I happened to be somehow involved in a case where very senior police officers from Law and Order played national heroes who proclaimed they had supposedly just foiled a major threat to the nation, to our State House, and to President Robert Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba.
A medical student on attachment at a health facility near the President’s rural home apparently developed some kind of mental illness, and started to publicly make claims to staffers at the health facility that he belonged to the MDC, and that he had this whole team of people from one of the prominent Pentecostal churches which was developing “chemical weapons” to destroy Zimbabwe and all people at the State House; and also that he had been strategically sent to particularly take care of destroying the President’s rural home.
The student happened to be a member of this Pentecostal church in question, and me too happened to be someone who grew up in the same church.
There is probably no one on this planet as harmless as one of my cousins from the mother’s side, whose name I will withhold for now. He was one of the people implicated as part of the masterminds of this deadly plan to destroy Zimbabwe, its State House, as well as the village home of the Head of State.
Consequently, he had these massively zealous security details coming to pick him by the middle of the night, bragging confidently about how much they knew about his evil intentions, and asking him to take them to the “laboratory” where “you guys are developing weapons of mass destruction.” What a nightmare it was for the young man.
One other very quiet gentlemen whom I must declare had a fanatical passion for the MDC was also taken in by the middle of the night, and as far as I knew him, he had no capacity to kill even a fly. His soft spot for Tsvangirai’s party did not help his case at all.
All he had done was to house the medical student at his house during one of the church’s activities, where congregants sometimes randomly pick visiting people to host at their houses to help them avoid paying for accommodation. He hardly could even remember the name of the young man, and his struggling to figure out who was being talked about made him look like a dishonesty man hiding something.
The resultant mere admission that this lad had slept at his house for a couple of days was taken as indisputable evidence that this poor gentleman was an expert in chemical weapons, and was indeed running a laboratory of weapons of mass destruction — ready to put the whole country to massive ruin.
A dozen plus suspects ended up being rounded up and detained at Chinhoyi Police Station in this case, all of them implicated by the mentally disturbed student, and I remember meeting Tongai Matutu at the police station. I was even scared that this student could also name me as an expert in chemical warfare, but I was determined to save all those involved.
Matutu was the lawyer representing some of the suspects, and I was there to convince the police that my cousin was incapable of waging a war on anyone, and that their key witness was a mental health patient who needed help instead of incarceration.
I was accused of being a wannabe psychiatrist. I was only taken seriously after I produced evidence of where I was employed, and that went some way into changing the course of events.
The student was in there detained with all other suspects; and nailing them hard in a clearly very incoherent manner. It took us great effort to finally get my cousin and others released, and Matutu can tell us more on how he finally managed to get his own clients out on this case, especially the quiet gentleman who had hosted the key witness at his house during that fateful church conference.
Now I hear there are serious charges being levelled against one Evan Mawarire, who although not a mental health patient by diagnosis; does share a lot with mentally sick people, especially when it comes to attention seeking.
Indeed Evan Mawarire once played it big on social media and attracted a bit of attention to himself politically, but not once did the man do anything that warrants concern about the future of our Government — let alone harming it in any way.
If we are going to allow paranoia, overzealousness and speculation to guide the thinking in our security sector we risk reducing this great nation into a sorry excuse for a country.
Evan Mawarire returned from the United States on February 1 and was immediately arrested and reportedly charged for subverting a constitutionally elected Government — ostensibly by seeking attention on social media, and running away from those giving him the attention at the mere mention of the word police.
His residence status in the United States has been a matter of speculation, like was his brief stay in South Africa. No one knows for a fact if any of the two countries granted Mawarire political asylum, but that position is comfortably sitting as a matter of fact in the heads of the majority of our people.
Some accuse the man of abandoning his ill-defined cause after securing “green pastures”. To me this man’s cause was never anything outside public attention. He had no road map of what he said he wanted, only interested in Facebook likes and making an impression on social media — more of a magnified small time clown.
Now there is more speculation on whether the man is “returning to battle” or was “deported” by Donald Trump. Both assertions are idiotic in my opinion. Mawarire has no battle to fight because he is simply too useless to wage one, and Trump has no business deporting Mawarire because he most likely has no idea who the Zimbabwean little clown is.
We know Mawarire claimed his life was in danger when he left Zimbabwe. He probably was in danger if he felt endangered, but that does not mean he was endangered. Clearly he now believes otherwise, because he wouldn’t have flown back into the country in that exceptionally jovial mood if he still suspected his life was at stake.
Footage of him smiling for attention in handcuffs at the airport shows someone thoroughly enjoying his fate. Did the Zimbabwe Republic Police fall into the trap of a mere attention seeker?
Does Mawarire believe he can revitalise his waned overnight Facebook popularity by brooking trouble with our gullibility-prone police? It would appear like he is.
Speculation in security circles has even gone as far as linking Evan Mawarire’s coming to the visit by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) CEO to the country. Some are suspicious that this is more than just a coincidence.
It is speculation as decent as suggesting that the link between Mawarire’s come back and the jetting in of our President is suspicious. Why jet in when the President is doing the same? I call that lousy policing of a very decent nation by hopelessly unintelligent people.
Others have even suggested that Patrick Chinamasa must watch out for Mawarire — crediting the Facebook clown with powers to stifle bilateral re-engagement talks between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. I doubt Mawarire has any idea what the two governments have been discussing, even from a layman’s perspective. He does not come across as brilliant enough to read newspapers.
There is just too much unnecessary speculation on this Mawarire character. From a security point of view he is certainly a person of interest, given some of the people he has been exposed to, but the man deserves nothing more than surveillance and the bugging of his lines and Internet behaviour. He is a threat no bigger than that.
Whether or not Mawarire has personal political ambitions is neither a security matter nor a matter of public interest. The right to imagine things extends to everyone, clowns included.
The fact that Mawarire gave an interview to Simon Alison implying he might want to join politics does not warrant the attention of our police officers, otherwise we would end up questioning all those innocent Grade One kids that keep saying they want to become presidents when they grow up.
Certainly Mawarire is not a man of political nerve, never mind the impression he might have created with his social media hash-tag campaign.
Men with political nerve do not run away from the centre of attraction, they do not flop the way Mawarire flopped with his attempt to humiliate President Mugabe at the United Nations in New York, and they certainly do not draw satisfaction from the attention of social media followers.
Mawarire could be classified as a socialite who attracted attention by playing a few childish games with our national flag. He has never been anywhere near a threat to our national security, let alone a political threat to those in power.
We cannot be as speculative as to imagine that Evan Mawarire is capable of uniting fellow clowns in the imagined forum that is supposedly discussing coalition politics, or that he is capable of being elected the leader of that imagined coalition; in the most unlikely event that the daydreaming somehow materialises.
Some have even suggested the man could pull an Adama Barrow on Zanu-PF? Zimbabwe is not The Gambia, and President Robert Mugabe is not Yahya Jammeh, and we do not hold childish religion-inspired elections in this part of the world.
Whether or not Mawarire is connected to Jeffrey Smith is neither here nor there on the political spectrum of Zimbabwe.
We are a complex country that has triumphed over successive world class regime change attempts, and to think that a former CIA agent like Jeff Smith could pull victory over Zanu-PF by fronting a telling clown like Evan Mawarire is just an insult to our intelligence.
It is a fact that Jeff Smith and Joe Trippi have claimed responsibility for the downfall of Yahya Jammeh, but they have not exactly claimed responsibility for Adama Barrow’s victory. To me the claim for credit in the Jammeh’s downfall could as well be contrived or opportunistic, given that Smith’s consultancy firm Vanguard Africa desperately needs to build a profile for itself to attract funding.
I work in the fundraising sector and I have seen some desperate entities manufacturing glorious achievements to boost their profiles.
Even with the supposed committed support of people like Jeff Smith and Joe Trippi, Evan Mawarire simply does not have the capacity to replicate the politics of The Gambia in Zimbabwe. He could get the support of the whole wide world, and I bet my very last cent he would still fail dismally.
No amount of money can defeat collective nationalism, otherwise Tsvangirai would have made it to State House.
Zanu-PF is no party to dismantle by embarking on silly and childish games on the Internet.
Perhaps those asserting that the Zimbabwe Republic Police are playing time-wasting distraction games might be having a point. Apart from distracting our evidently hopeless politicians in the opposition, there is nothing else to imagine as the plausible reason for arresting such a harmless person like Mawarire.
But again is there any point distracting our already distracted opposition politicians? Mai (Joice) Mujuru just learnt the hard way that without the Zanu-PF tag she is no more than any other ordinary political aspirant that has tried their luck in Zimbabwe in the last 36 years.
Morgan Tsvangirai does not need distraction. He has enough distractions of his own, including natural calamities, and beyond Morgan Tsvangirai Zanu-PF only has its own factions to be scared of.
This is how we are currently heading into 2018, and there is just no chance that the opposition will win the national election.
Reason Wafawarova is a political writer based in SYDNEY, Australia