As a Zimbabwean, I have gotten used to our President doing cabinet reshuffle which is always characterized by the same old faces changing posts and the country is put again into the hands of those who have failed it. However, this recent cabinet reshuffle has really got my attention and NO it’s not because of the new ministry of Cyber Security, Threat detection and Mitigation but of some appointments which represent the ZANU PF Elections end game.
Where do I start….
Ministry of Justice, legal and Parliamentary affairs, a portfolio which has been under VP ED Mnangagwa for years has been handed over to Major General (rtd) H.M. Bonyongwe the former Central Intelligence organization (CIO) boss, known on the streets as C10s. An organization who have driven fear into the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans and are alleged to have caused deaths and disappearance to those who opposed the current regime. With a controversial Attorney General under his ministry and with the President having been given the power to appoint the Chief justice, our Justice system pre-and post-elections is pivotal for the ruling party in effecting gross human rights abuses and getting away with it at the courts as they did with the land reform having put through a new chief justice who over-turned all rulings in favor of the white farmers. Is it still safe to call it Ministry of Justice?
Ministry of Home affairs, this portfolio is now under the hands of the one and only Obert Mpofu, who never answered to the questions of the missing $15bn when he was Minister of Mines. A Mugabe loyalist who would go at all means to get the job done. This ministry controls the police, an already corrupt entity ready to defend ZANU PF at the expense of the citizens and have in the past shown this to be true. A crack-down of opposition party figures, arrests and intimidation of activists will be the order of the day as we approach elections with of course teargas and button sticks used to disturb rallies.
Ministry of Cyber Security, threat detection and mitigation a new ministry which will fall under Patrick Chinamasa who leaves the Ministry of Finance. Speaking to the press, the Presidential Spokesperson – George Charamba said “I want to give these words from the President. He said Ministry iyoyo, one, its new, ndiyo riva redu kubata makonzo aya anoita mischief using cyber space……. ”.
The government might argue that this was prompted by recent messages that went viral resulting in panic buying and price increase of commodities but let us remind our government that history brought about panic buying, we are at the same point we used to be in 2008 economically and because we saw how this worked out last time we just had to resort to 2008 settings ,hoarding of commodities. We know it’s the failure of convicting people like Evans Mawarire and Tajamuka crew who use social media to put across their messages that prompted the creation of this ministry. Patrick Chinamasa got this portfolio because of his experience as a lawyer thus it would be him who drafts the cyber security bill. As if POSA and AIPPA were not enough to silence us, our government is seeking to totally shut us up by taking all means of freedom of speech and expression from us.
So, what does this mean?- This means you and me need to go register to vote. We cannot allow our lives to be dictated by such. We cannot let our children grow up in such.
A tweet, a meme, a post or even a thread can now lend you in jail under cyber security issues. Like seriously? Our economy is in shambles, unemployment still growing and our government is worried about 140 characters on a tweet or the number of likes generated by an Evan Mawarire’s video.
These three ministries will not tire to make sure we are caged in our minds with fear of saying out our opinions on how our country should be run.
They will make examples that’s for sure, so that fear gets to us and we even lose hope in the election but my brothers and sisters the power is with us not them , REGISTER TO VOTE that’s true power.