Nobleman Runyanga Correspondent
On November 23, the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament’s House of Commons discussed MDC Alliance faction activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe’s welfare in a matter which exposed the UK and the West’s imperialistic tendencies.
The previous week, the House of Lords had expended time and resources on the same matter.
This foregrounded the former colonial power’s increasing desperation to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
The matter was raised by Lord Jonny Oates, who asked what the UK government was doing about Haruzivishe’s continued incarceration and what he termed “political repression” in Zimbabwe.
The UK Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Lord Tariq Ahmad responded that his government “regularly urge(d) the Zimbabwean Government to live up to their own constitution by ensuring that the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment, and that due legal process is respected. The Minister for Africa reinforced these messages when she met President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa on 1 November. Our embassy is also in touch with Mr Haruzivishe’s lawyers as we await the outcome of his appeal.”
During the House of Commons proceedings, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Under-Secretary, Vicky Ford also harped on the same issue.
This demonstrated that the UK is getting very desperate to unseat Zanu PF and replace it with its MDC Alliance faction stooges.
The obsession with Zimbabwe also exposed its increasing frustration with the local opposition, civil society and other detractors which have failed to push Zanu PF out of power since 1999 despite limitless funding.
Who is Makomborero Haruzivishe?
When Haruzivishe’s issue was raised in distant lands in the UK, some Zimbabweans questioned who he is and it is important for the world to know him before taking sides with foreigners such as Lord Oates over his legal issues.
Haruzivishe is a 28-year old man who never keeps away from legal trouble.
This stems from his stint at the University of Zimbabwe where he served in the Student Representative Council (SRC) from March 2012 to September 2015 in capacities which included secretary for legal affairs.
He also served as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU).
The students’ organisation is a brainchild of the American Embassy in Zimbabwe, which was conceived in 1986, as an ancillary entity to leverage the boundless energy of students and harness it for purposes of its long term objective in Zimbabwe — to effect regime change.
It is from this background that the world should understand Haruzivishe’s political shenanigans and legal woes.
His mentality is not too different from that of senior MDC Alliance faction’s skittish and excitable members such as its vice chairman, Job Sikhala, who is always in a combative mood against Government even on matters that do not require any contention.
Like Sikhala, Tendai Biti and Promise Mkwananzi, Haruzivishe is always ready to latch onto any matter for attention, gratification and a sense of non-existent heroism.
It is part of opposition-supporting students’ DNA to believe that there is heroism in pointless protests and mindless violence and destruction.
This is why the likes of Sikhala and Biti have failed to outgrow the student activism mentality many years into their political careers.
Haruzivishe is not only a concern to the Zimbabwean authority, but to businesses and his parents and guardians as well as society at large.
In 2011, he set out to study for a psychology degree at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and was expected to graduate at the end of 2015, but six years later he holds neither an academic degree, a decent life nor a defined future.
After being expelled and reinstated twice by the UZ like the proverbial rolling stone, he has nothing to his name except a string of law-breaking records.
He is not a source of pride for anyone except for the MDC Alliance faction, which uses him to fight Government and abandons him when he gets incarcerated.
One feels for his parents or guardians who paid his college fees only to watch helplessly as he squandered the golden opportunity in mindless student and opposition politics.
What charges is he facing?
Those who know Haruzivishe from some biased online media such as the ZimEye and MDC Alliance faction propaganda like Lord Oates regard him as a young opposition supporter, who is being persecuted by the Zimbabwean Government for supporting the MDC Alliance and pushing for the observance of human rights.
Nothing is further from the truth.
Since April this year, the MDC Alliance has been presenting to the world Haruzivishe as a victim of alleged Government repression.
The opposition faction even created a Twitter campaign named Mako Monday in which they post messages complaining that the youth is a “prisoner of conscience” which is an opposition euphemism for political prisoner.
They use the social media to campaign for his release.
Sadly, it is these MDC Alliance lies that global players like Lord Oates and Ford wilfully swallow hook, line and sinker just because they do not like the Zimbabwean Government led by Zanu PF.
The UK government continues to nurse a political grudge against Zimbabwe because she dared to reclaim her land from colonial settlers 21 years ago.
For the record, Haruzivishe is facing a number of charges before Zimbabwe’s courts of law.
The first relates to the incitement of violence and resisting arrest for which he was convicted and sentenced to an effective 14 months in prison in April this year.
In September, his legal team secured a Z$10 000 bail for Haruzivishe after High Court Judge, Justice Webster Chinamora, ruled that his appeal against conviction and sentence had high chances of success.
However, the youth could not go home as he is facing other charges. This is what the MDC Alliance is selling to the likes of the British government as political persecution.
His bail was revoked because of the charges of kidnapping which arose when Haruzivishe and others chain-locked workers of Impala Motor Spares in their central Harare shop in October last year in protest against the allegations that a motor vehicle belonging to Impala Car Rental had been used in the abduction of a journalism student, Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo on 30 July last year by unknown people.
Haruzivishe is also facing allegations of staging an illegal demonstration in February last year.
He also held another illegal protest in Harare’s Warren Park suburb the following month for which he is facing charges. He skipped bail before when he was arrested for the last two charges.
No court in the world, including the UK’s, would release such a serial law breaker on bail.
The opposition has been accusing Government of using the courts to allegedly suppress political activists’ rights such as the Constitutionally-guaranteed right to protest.
It should be noted that rights are not absolute. The moment the exercise of one’s rights infringes on the rights of other citizens such as the innocent Impala Motor Spares staff, who were traumatised by Haruzivishe, law enforcement agents and courts of law readily come in.
It is not lawfare against political activists as the opposition tells people like Lord Oates.
Prosecuting a recalcitrant opposition activist is not political persecution. If there is political persecution in this matter, it is the UK government that is persecuting Zimbabwe over Haruzivishe.
What the UK needs to know
It is interesting and puzzling that Lord Ahmad and Ford urged “Zimbabwean Government to live up to their own Constitution by ensuring that the opposition, civil society and journalists are allowed to operate without harassment, and that due legal process is respected” as if Haruzivishe was being tried by a rural village court.
It is sad that Lord Ahmad and the British are trying to influence “a due legal process” which is already in progress.
If anyone needs to follow a legal due process in this matter, it is the British who are contravening the Geneva Convention by trying to interfere in the matters of a former colony which is now an independent and sovereign state.
Lord Ahmad and the British should know that being a former colonial master to Zimbabwe does not give them any form of suzerainty over the country.
They should know that Zimbabwe’s laws apply to all citizens, including the Haruzivishes of this world and, therefore, the British should not get all worked up because an opposition activist, who routinely breaks laws has had his bail revoked because of his chequered record.
An MDC Alliance activist is not a special species of Zimbabwean citizens who should be spared the normal legal due processes when they break the country’s laws.
In his response to Lord Oates, Lord Ahmad further disclosed that the British Embassy in Zimbabwe was “in touch with Haruzivishe’s lawyers as we await the outcome of his appeal.”
It is gravely worrying that the foreign embassy has become so involved in the affairs of an opposition outfit in a host country to the extent of engaging the lawyers of a law-breaking political activist without informing or securing leave to do so from the host Government.
Lord Ahmad and ilk should know that Zimbabwe’s democratic space does not only consist of the MDC Alliance faction and its serial law breakers like Haruzivishe.
His insinuation that opposition parties, civil society organisations and journalists are not operating freely is obviously based on the opposition’s self-serving propaganda, which is underpinned by the latter’s politics of baseless political victimhood.
If the opposition was honest, it would tell the British of how more open Zimbabwe’s democratic space has become since November 2017.
If MDC Alliance faction leader, Nelson Chamisa, was an honest politician, he would testify that he enjoyed more freedom to criss-cross Zimbabwe’s countryside during the 2018 election campaign season than did his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai.
Only last month, Chamisa concluded a series of rural meetings in Zanu PF strongholds without incident except for the claims of an attempt on his life, which was a ploy to get his supporters to buy him a new motor vehicle.
If his life was really in danger, he would have ended the meetings immediately.
If he really faced potential attacks by anyone he and his faction would have gladly agreed to co-operate with the police when the latter opened investigations into the alleged attempts on his life.
Going forward, the British government should respect the Government of Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans by respecting the Geneva Convention.
It should know that only the Zimbabwean electorate can determine who rules them through the constitutionally-provided democratic process of elections, which the country has religiously held every five years since 1980.