'President ED Mnangagwa is more ruthless than former President Robert Mugabe'

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The former President Robert Mugabe charged three high profile politicians for treason during his more than 30 years in power. The three were Joshua Nkomo, Ndabanigi Sithole and Morgan Tsvangirai. In just a space of six months, the incoming President ED Mnangagwa charged five leaders for treason (Joanna Mamombe, Evan Mawarire, Rashid Mahiya, Peter Mutasa & Japhet Moyo).

This paper seeks to demonstrate that President ED Mnangagwa may be more ruthless than former President Robert Mugabe.

The history of Zimbabwe has shown that, Joanna Mamombe is going to be the first woman (high/low profile political leader) to be charged with treason since the time of John Rhodes. Robert Mugabe is classified under ‘blood theist dictators’ of Africa ahead of Gaddaffi and Mubaraki but he never charged a single woman for treason during his life time. A treason charge for Joanna Mamombe should be a reflection of who President ED Mnangagwa is? If five people are charged with treason within six months, expect more people to be charged with treason during the next four years.

The treason charge for Joanna Mamombe is an embarrassment to President ED Mnangagwa and ZANU PF. A treason charge (for Joanna Mamombe) is not different from sentencing a mosquito to prison on allegations of causing malaria. The charge is an insult to the credibility of the Zimbabwe’ justice system. Being a young lady of 24 years of age has automatically made Joanna Mamombe a heroine. She is now been treated in the league of Nkomo, Sithole and Tsvangirai. Joanna Mamombe is now a ‘man among men’. She has done what our heroines of the struggle failed to do during and after the liberation struggle.

President ED Mnangagwa and his security team should be very careful, treason charge is not something to play with. It exposes a nation if the victims are not convicted. I am convinced that police has charged more than five people for treason, if they fail to convict anyone (out of five) for treason, President ED’s image will be soiled. The President has decided to break the Zimbabwean record by charging a woman for treason for the first time since the time of John Rhodes. Zimbabweans should not take this move for granted because it is a reflection of who President ED is in terms of his ‘heart’.

Treason charge is rare charge, enough evidence should be gathered before such charge. The arrests connected to treason charges are approved by the President and his cabinet because treason charge is a threat to the security of the nation. Joanna Mamombe’s treason charge is connected to the presser which she gave in January 2019 following the disturbances were the army murdered 17 people. The presser of Joanna Mamombe (according to the video) is not enough to support a treason charge or even lesser charges.

As a lawyer, President ED Mnangagwa should know the implications of fake treason charges in the face of the modern democracy. The rate at which leaders in Zimbabwe are being charged with treason shows that President ED is not legitimate, he is trying to gain legitimacy through arrests, intimidations and tortures. Arrests, intimidations and tortures cannot silence people. Zimbabwe is the only country in SADC, Africa and the World where treason charge is being abused. President ED Mnangagwa should move fast to halt this madness.

Don Chigumba is a mixed methods research specialist can be found on twitter @Donchigumba

— Don Chigumba


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